Although she did not call it an archive – there has been an archive of the artistic work of Pina Bausch even before Tanztheater Wuppertal came into existence. She has always collected material from the processes of origination, rehearsals, and production of her pieces. Comprehensive and systematic: Notations and manuscripts, photos and video recordings, role descriptions and notes of her dancers, programmes and posters, reviews and interviews. The stage designs and costumes for most of her pieces, too, are still available.
But the development of this impressing abundance of material, the digitising and localisation of information within the structure of the digital archive is only one side of the foundation’s work. It lays the base for an enterprise that goes a significant step further: to retain the memories of the people who were (and still are) part of Pina Bausch’s art. Those people include Pina Bausch’s artistic companions as well as the staff of Tanztheater Wuppertal. Yet, just as important are the members of the audiences of her numerous performances who were stricken or maybe even changed by her art. Or people who got to know Pina Bausch in her home town and remember incidents that are not of direct relevance to her work.
Everyone is invited to share their memories of Pina Bausch, to put forward their very own perspective on the choreographer’s art. Different contemporaries might have a different view on the events: The knowledge, recollected by different people, will be controversial, fragmental, and sometimes inaccurate. But not only do the possibilities of the digital Pina Bausch Archives allow contradictory information to coexist, they even form the special quality of the archive, being image of a collective human experience.
The Laboratory of Memory interrelates the building blocks of this collective experience to each other, but also to facts and data like casts, performance venues and -dates, costumes and props, photographs and film recordings. Thus, the archive becomes a place that generates knowledge, a living place that does not store information, but makes it fertile.
Your very own memory becomes part of the digital universe of the archive.
Companions of Pina Bausch report on working with the choreographer and on their own artistic path at four video points.
Stock – Photo – Video – Data: Four terminals demonstrate the processes of archiving.