The Performance

Photos: Mathias Rümmler
Graphic Design: Demian Bern

The Performance

Dec 12–14, 2013, 8pm
Theater Rampe, Stuttgart

The Performance
Feb 1+2, 2014, 8pm+6pm
Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt

Nachtkritik, Nov 1, 2013
Berliner Zeitung, Nov 2, 2013

‘The Performance’ is the performance of an institution, of ‘The Institution’. People and things, both invented and ‘real’, meet in a space that is doubled, mirrored, on several stages at the same time, and tightly interlaced by the machinery of theater and composition.

‘The Performance’ is theater, congress and concert: In a walk-in stage stetting, the audience encounter performers, a musician, as well as guests from the sciences and arts.
Herbordt/Mohren question categories from the culture industry and from the worlds of living and working that surround it. The audience moves in a space in which the quotation marks around the terms ‘Institution’ and ‘Performance’ are constantly present, even though they eventually begin to blur: Is ‘The Performance’ still a performance? Is ‘The Institution’ still an institution?

‘The Performance’ toys with categories and ascriptions. It does not aim at enforcing understanding; it is about experiencing interrelations, about the majesty of diagrams, about rummaging in one’s own memories, about linking things distant.



What theater may be, what it wants, or what it is not supposed to be, ‘that the place is constantly changing in meaning’: this is what Melanie Mohren and Bernhard Herbordt have turned into an unconventional evening, one which shows theater from the inside. And the evening also reminds you why exhibiting the techniques of art-making while making art once became and still is such an intriguing idea. (, Nov 1, 2013)

An on-site inspection is taking place, one that is highly illuminating as it shows a theater which will not be ‘theater’ anymore, but something new: an ‘institution’, whose definition, scope and practice are yet to find – to find, to test, to reject and to find again in a continuing process. The process has already taken place in just those 90 minutes for which Herbordt/Mohren have designed an amazing test arrangement of possibilities and visions. (Berliner Zeitung, Nov 2, 2013)

After thirty minutes I can’t tell anymore who is officially part of the performance, and who is guest. The borders have become blurred. A brief glance into the other visitors’ faces tells me that they feel similar. Over a bowl of soup, which is offered at a station with a cook, somebody asks me which institution I am from. I am confused: Is this part of the performance? – Melanie Mohren and Bernhard Herbordt with their composition of theater, concert and performance manage to suspend the much-heralded separation of art and life. The audience’s contingent meandering produces new interpretations of places, and most individual experiences. (Der Freitag, Nov 7, 2013)


Stage direction, concept, artistic direction: Melanie Mohren and Bernhard Herbordt. Stage design: Leonie Mohr and Hannes Hartmann. Composition: Hannes Seidl. Performance (Berlin/Stuttgart): Judica Albrecht, Matthias Breitenbach, Michael E. Kleine, Lina Lindheimer, Armin Wieser, Katharina Zoffmann. Drums: Matthias Engler. Cook: Marcus G. Bergmann. Technical direction: Norman Duncan Thörel. Video: René Liebert. Light: Fabian Lehmann. Assistance space design: Christine Bentele and Daniel Brockhaus. Production management: Juliane Beck. Assistance: Alida Breitag. PR: Bernhard Siebert. Graphic Design: Demian Bern.

Guests of ‘Performing Institutions’ in Berlin: Ursula Achternkamp, Marcus Bergmann, Elise v. Bernstorff, Knut Ebeling, Maximilian Haas, Pirkko Husemann, Gordon Kampe, Florian Malzacher, Mieke Matzke, Martin Nachbar, Emanuel V. Towfigh, Sandra Umathum, Matthias Warstat, and others.
Guests of ‘Performing Institutions’ in Stuttgart: Lorenz Aggermann, Robert Atzlinger, Bureau Baubotanik, Anja Dauschek, Christian Dosch, Martina Grohmann, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Bernd Mand, Norbert Pape, Steve Valk, Vesna Vukovic, and others.
Guests of ‘Performing Institutions’ in Frankfurt: Stefan Apostolou-Hölscher, Katja Diefenbach, Sarah Israel, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Michl Schmidt, Thomas-M. Seibert, Philipp Schulte, and others.

A production by Herbordt/Mohren, supported with funds from Capital Cultural Fund in Berlin, in cooperation with The Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, Theater Rampe Stuttgart and SOPHIENSÆLE. With special thanks to our media-partner taz – die tageszeitung.
As part of ‘The Performance’ in Berlin, the fourth part of the series ‘Performing Institutions’ of the Young Academy’s research group ‘Art as Research’ took place.

Premiere on Oct 31, 2013, SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin