The Valeska Gert Museum
Artistic direction Eszter Salamon
Collaboration Boglàrka Börcsök
with Boglàrka Börcsök and Eszter Salamon
Eszter Salamon offers to the avant-garde artist Valeska Gert an imaginary museum at the Villa Empain. She inhabits it with Boglàrka Börcsök to propose an experience oscillating between memory, reconstruction and fiction.
The Valeska Gert Museum is an imaginary museum that operates through a collection of performative acts related to the life and work of the German artist Valeska Gert. This embodied museum is an empirical- archival venture that oscillates between re-enactment, commentary and fiction. Powered by the desire to intensify relations between the past and our current times, it invites us to encounter a historicity different from canonical art history.
Valeska Gert has been an avant-garde figure turning her back to modern dance already at the beginning of its rising. At the early 1920’ies, she has developed a performance practice by combining theater, dance, cinema, poetry and singing, a mixture of expression familiar to Berlin’s cabaret scene of that time. She has created a radical performing art by experimenting with gender, race, national identity and aesthetics, instead of lurking for artistic hegemony in complacence with Nazi Germany unlike other famous artistic figures of her time.
Despite her artistic fearlessness, provocative and anarchic performing intensity the importance of Valeska Gert’s role in art, dance and performance history has been for long time disregarded. Her love for the burlesque and the grotesque, her preference for the marginal and for creating new representations of the body against the bourgeois aesthetics made her one of the greatest artists of her time. Without her radical experimental endeavor a whole range of artistic production of the 20th century would have not existed.