ALEXANDRA ZIERLE AND PAUL CARTER

Ways of Water – A Love Potion for Nature

source: zierlecarterliveart

Alexandra Zierle (DE) and Paul Carter’s (UK) collaborative work is Interdisciplinary, multi-sensory and often site/context responsive, spanning performance, happenings and interventions, sound, video and installation. Through their collaborative practice, Zierle & Carter critically examine different modes of communication and what it means to be human, addressing notions of belonging, dynamics within relationships, and the transformation of limitations. Their work sites an embodied investigation into human interactions and encounters, acting as an invitation to venture into the spaces in-between the external and internal, permanent and transient, spoken and unheard. The work fundamentally explores society’s conventions, traditions, and rituals, often flipping them on their head, reversing orders, and disrupting the norm.

As a couple in life since 2005 and in art from 2006, Alexandra and Paul met in the UK in Cornwall on the BA(Hons) Fine Art course at Falmouth College of Arts in 2003 and began working together with performance towards the end of their undergraduate studies with a pivotal collaboration entitled Back to Back, in which the artists intensively explored their relationship through a black suit sewn back to back. Their professional career began just after graduating when Alexandra and Paul travelled to Patagonian Argentina with the Ferdinand Zweig Memorial Scholarship, where they made a number of site specific performances, performance based videos, an interview series on sense of belonging, and sound installations.

With a material and process led approach, their work continuously shifts in format, content and duration, from a series of short actions to three days durational works, a week long intensive, to bodies of work and research that span a year. At times publicly visible and others remote and discreet, their site-specific work has occupied galleries, explored one to one interactive and instruction based performances in cupboards and empty cinemas. They have created performance for camera works on snow covered mountain plateaus and at the edge of cliffs, performed a series of actions and interactions in busy shopping areas, baroque gardens and city parks, made process-led works in libraries, woodlands, tunnels and World War 2 bunkers, as well as working nomadically with interventions in wilderness such as on the top of a volcano, at the base of a glacier, in a hot spring and in deserts.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Their work has been widely exhibited internationally throughout Europe, Canada, United States, South America, Australia, in Asia and Africa, including Catalyst Arts (UK), Grace Exhibition Space (US), Venice International Performance Art Week (IT), IBT13 International Festival of Performance (UK), Substation for R.I.T.E.S. (SG), Defibrillator Gallery for Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (US), 8. Biennale of Photography in Poznan (PL), Chapter Arts Centre for Experimentica (UK), IKRA (SE), Balikitan (PH), POP Gallery (AU), Garden of Reason (UK), IMAF International Performance Art Festival (RS), Up To Nature International Festival (UK), Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange (UK), La Galleria (UK), The Taubman Museum of Art (US), The A-Foundation for the Liverpool Biennale (UK), Federation Sqaure (AU), Arnolfini for What next for the body? as part of In Between Time Festival (UK), Gallery of Contemporary Art Yaoundé (CM), Wysing Arts Centre (UK), Exist-ence International Performance Art Festival (AU), Zonadeartenacción- Foto y Video Acción (AR), Contaminate International Festival (US), and at MOMA (US) and Plymouth Arts Centre (UK) as part of Marina Abramovic’s Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art and The Pigs of Today are the Hams of Tomorrow.

Twice recipients of Arts Council England grants, including support for a residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, Zierle & Carter’s work is featured in ‘Personal Structures Time – Space – Existence’ from The Global Art Affairs Foundation, which was distributed to visitors at the Venice Biennale 2013 and in Manuel Vason’s new Double Exposure publication. Currently, they are In Between Time Associate Artists.
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source: performanceartistsorg

Alexandra Zierle and Paul Carter’s collaborative work is interdisciplinary, multi-sensory and site and context responsive spanning performance, happenings, interventions, sound, video and installation. Through their practice, Zierle & Carter critically examine different modes of communication and what it means to be human both as individuals and as a ‘collective entity’. Their work addresses notions of belonging, cultural identity, the dynamics within relationships, harmony through conflict and the transformation of limitations. Their work adopts a simple yet rich visual aesthetic, which employs various approaches and guises with often an element of surprise and improvisation. The work fundamentally explores society’s conventions, traditions and rituals both old and new, often flipping them on their head, peeling them back, reversing orders and disrupting the norm. Zierle and Carter’s work sites an embodied investigation into human interactions with their immediate environment and exemplifies a profound curiosity of the unknown, the void and the instant, namely ‘the now’. At times charged with raw unedited energy and at others, sensitive, composed and sincere, their work initiates contemplation and prompts us to reconsider the way we perceive the foundations that our society and individual realities are based upon. Their work acts as an invitation to venture into the spaces that lie in-between the external and internal, the permanent and transient, the spoken and unheard. Zierle & Carter have investigated sense of belonging and displacement within various communities, from refugees and first nation people in Canada, Welsh communities in Patagonia, to migrant workers in Cornwall. Their work examined the apple as a symbol of love and knowledge, provided an interactive public purging service in response to communication breakdowns among businesses, buried attachments to lost/faded relationships, and celebrated existing and future connections. Recent works probed consumerism and the notion of stuffing the ‘inner void’, as well as explored our physical absence by leaving instructions behind for participants in an empty cinema to engage in a love story. Current works experiment with intimacy, proximity, and one to one encounters in public by stretching the space and energy transference between two people. Shifting in format, content and duration, their works have varied in length, from a series of short actions to three day durational works and week long intensives. At times publically visible and others remote and discreet, their work has explored one to one interactive and instruction based performances in cupboards and empty cinemas, social sculptures in indoor markets and busy shopping areas, process and object led actions in tunnels and World War 2 bunkers, as well as interventions on Volcanoes, desserts, hot springs and at the base of a glacier.
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source: vimeo

Interdisciplinary, multi-sensory and often site and context responsive, Alexandra Zierle (DE) & Paul Carter’s (UK) practice spans performance and live art, socially engaged practice, video, sound, installation, and photography, with a strong emphasis on exploring intuition, presence and the ‘fabric of now’, material and process-led approaches, and anchoring iconic and memorable ‘live images’.
Through their collaborative practice, Zierle & Carter critically examine different modes of communication and what it means to be human, addressing notions of belonging, dynamics within relationships, and the transformation of limitations. Their work sites an embodied investigation into human interactions and encounters, acting as an invitation to venture into the spaces in-between the external and internal, permanent and transient, spoken and unheard. The work fundamentally explores society’s conventions, traditions, and rituals, often flipping them on their head, reversing orders, and disrupting the norm.
At times publicly visible and others remote and discreet, their site-specific work has occupied galleries, explored one to one interactive and instruction based performances in cupboards and empty cinemas. They have created performance for camera works on snow covered mountain plateaus and at the edge of cliffs, performed a series of actions and interactions in busy shopping areas, baroque gardens and city parks, made process-led works in libraries, woodlands, tunnels and World War 2 bunkers, as well as working nomadically with interventions in wilderness such as on the top of a volcano, at the base of a glacier, in a hot spring and in deserts.



SELECTED PROJECTS + EXHIBITIONS + PUBLICATIONS
Their work has been widely exhibited internationally throughout Europe, Canada, United States, South America, Australia, in Asia and Africa, such as the inaugural Venice International Performance Art Week, Federation Square in Melbourne, CIPAF in Cyprus and Grace Exhibition Space, New York. Twice recipients of Arts Council England grants, including support for a residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, Zierle & Carter’s work is featured in ‘Personal Structures Time – Space – Existence’ from The Global Art Affairs Foundation, a publication distributed to visitors at the Venice Biennale 2013, and in Manuel Vason’s newly acclaimed Double Exposure publication. Currently, they are In Between Time Associate Artists.
Recent projects include an Arts Council funded project to Australia for their project Between Lands – A Sense of Belonging Enquiry, entailing an initial 6 week research and development residency with Melbourne based Chamber Made Opera, and a further 2 month production period in autumn 2013 to present their Between Lands and Longings Living Room Opera. Projects of note this year include ‘Feeling Queezy?!’ exhibition at The Centre for Contemporary Arts Estonia, Cyprus International Performance Art Festival, and invited guest lecturers and performing at IPA 2014 in Romania as well as for PAStudies in Kaunas, Lithuania. Next year their work will be shown at the Havana Biennale in Cuba among other events worldwide.



TEACHING EXPERIENCE
In an academic capacity, Zierle & Carter are currently Visiting Lecturers for Falmouth University (UK) and previously have worked as Visiting Lecturers for the School of Art Institute of Chicago (US), Swefi in Happaranda (SE), VCA in Melbourne (AU), Ferrum University in Roanoke (US) and Dartington College of Arts (UK). They have lead workshops nationally and internationally, including At the Edge of the Land, of Practice and of Knowing, a Live Art Development Agency DIY9 workshop in Cornwall, UK. The artists also assist and consult other artists with funding applications and have been mentors for Arts Council England awarded projects. 



QUOTES + TESTIMONIALS
“The triumph of this pair is their sensitivity to material. Objects become extensions of the body rather than ill-fitting props.” Quinn Dukes, top 5 current contemporary performance artists for Artists Lists website
“Alexandra Zierle and Paul Carter bring together an attentiveness to place, an austere command of physical movement and tension, and a generous engagement with the dynamics of the personal and the interpersonal, to create situations that are magical, communal, and immediate. They create an experience approaching collective trance, in which their restrained and finely-honed intensity spills into a heightened intimacy that touches and changes everyone present”, Olchar Lindsann – Co-Programmer, Marginal Arts Festival
“You could think of them as Marina and Ulay with a contemporary sense of theatricality and props, but it might be more exquisite to forget that historical precedent entirely and concentrate instead on Zierle and Carter’s ability to create a surrealistic situation out of nothing more than a bunch of red balloons.” Lori Waxman, art critic
“I’m still trying to piece together what you did, what formula you used, to create a performance/event that had such strong power, to override the idea of a ‘performance’ or ‘social event’, and actually affect the audience/participants on such a deep personal level, and specifically for me it was in the making of the love potion, throughout the evening, that I found love!!!”, Shireen Darabi, audience member
“Their creation of an emotionally intense, site-specific ambush, that ebbed, flowed and ricocheted throughout the museum for the better part of three hours, renewed my faith in the ability of people to sincerely and honestly affect how others view the world and operate within it. They performed with a profound endurance, intelligence, and grace that felt motivated by an inherent generosity in their approach to human interaction. I believe everyone there felt connected; we were breathing in the scenarios they devised, watching, as if experiencing the world, together, for the first time”, Warren Fry, audience member