Vergiss den Kummer im süssen Schlummer

(Forget sorrow in sweet slumber) Mysterious Barricades #1
Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, 2023
Invited by Stanislaus Müller-Härlin, Gmünder Kunstverein
Duration: 23 minutes
Photographs by Monika Deimling


The performance was presented at the opening of the solo exhibition by BBB Johannes Deimling “Rot ist das Girren deines grünen Vogels” at the Gmünder Kunstverein. It is the first performance of the cycle “Mysterious Barricades” and took place in front of the historic Kornhaus in Schwäbisch Gmünd. A string quartet (Stanislauis Müller-Härlin, violin; Katrin Sabath-Härlin, violin; Margot Neuffer, viola; Hieronymus Butz, violincello) was placed within the audience and played towards the end of the performance “Les Barricades Mystérieuses” by François Couperin composed in 1717. This piece of music is the starting point of Deimling’s new performance cycle.

Description of actions:
A collage of performance images and sounds is created by executing the following actions with selected material.

– Presenting a hand covered with white paint to the present audience while walking into the action field.
– Slowly moving the hand with paint over my head, face, neck and throat.
– Taking out of a small puppet bed – in which a heap of black grave earth is laying – a little silver bell; shaking the bell while walking to a bowl with water.
– Moving the bell in and out of the water bowl. [The sound of the bell changes each time it touches the water.]
– rattling a pitchfork on which blue and yellow letters are fixed until they fall down to the ground.
– Plating with a silver soup spoon the black earth from the puppet bed into seven white porcelain plates and throwing them in front of the audience. [The plates crash on the ground and leave black and white traces on the ground.]
– Drawing with charcoal seven lines on my white shirt.
– Placing a metal tube on my head and stand still. [Orange smoke appears from the tube.]
– Moving a book fixed to a little guide cross over the action field; After a while setting the book on fire.
– Collecting some of the yellow letters and bind them on my head to a crown; when the crown is placed on my head I raise both arms up.
– Raising a blue chair on a flag pole.
– Raising another blue chair on a second flag pole. [In this very moment the string quartet plays “Les Barricades Mystérieuses” by François Couperin.]
– Holding a white cloth which is embroidered with blue text and ornaments in front of my face and walking slowly along the seated audience. [The embroidered text on the cloth says: “Vergiss den Kummer im süssen Schlummer (Forget sorrow in sweet slumber)”.]
– Gently placing the cloth over the bed, placing the crown on the covered bed.