VIDEO: duration 8’45” | 0’00” Participatory Experience Underground | 3’19” Das Tropferlbad – Performance | 4’53” Sacred Water – Video | 6’02” Walkshop | 6’45” #wecandobetter – Installation Performance

From July-Sept 2017, I had the fantastic opportunity to live and work at the Villa Waldberta with a magnificent view over the Starnberg Lake and the Alps. Our host Carlotta Brunetti teamed up with curator Dr. Cornelia Osswald-Hoffmann. They gathered a group of 7 local and 7 international artists from Australia, Poland, Iraq, Taiwan & USA. They provided us with lots of opportunities to respond very quickly to the theme “OVERFLOW” in various sites with various forms. We had more outcome than anticipated.

The first week we gave an artist talk & presentation attended by about 50 people, friends and patrons.

“Participatory Experience in Darkness & Personal Silence” was presented twice by James Cunningham and myself to a total of 70 participants.

I presented a 10 hour durational performance “Das Tröpferlbad“ to 100+ art and water lovers and swimmers.
A poetic & humorous awareness campaign about water use. I dripped water into people’s hands, at the old public baths of Munich, while humming the funny traditional folk tune “Das Tröpferlbad” (The Bath Drips).
After 5pm, every hour, I projected the video “Sacred Water” to about 50 audience members who came to the thermal section of the Old Public Baths, to also hear a short concert by toffaha in the steam bath.
The 3 minute-loop video was inspired by the round pool of the Müller’sches Volksbad and a sacred spring pool in Yogyakarta, where locals meditate at the bottom of the water, holding themselves under by grasping heavy stones.

James Cunningham and I offered a walkshop, which included walking “the way of the water” down a section of Starzenbach creek in Feldafing. We led 30 participants through a series of processes: “grounding” through body-based awareness, slowing down, being deliberately still, and allowing one’s body to absorb the surroundings and the moment. These processes have been developed since 2007 and deepened during our 2014–15 project ‘FLUIDATA’, with over 2 dozen slow creek walks throughout Queensland, Australia, and involving farmers, environmentalists, artists and water lovers. Following and during the walk, the session allowed for discussion around:
– the ways in which the manufactured infrastructures we regularly traverse corral us into lives of instantaneousness, productivity, and ‘getting there’
– alternative notions, such as ‘being here’, reversibility, curiosity and developing wonder in what already exists
– making connections between inner and outer worlds, and
– compassion, empathy, and the water-nature of all life.
We ended the walk at the Villa Waldberta where we had coffee and cake.
Carlotta and Connie took us also on a few walks – see photos

At the beginning of this residency, I finished a sculpture book started earlier this year, for which I’ve experimented and developed a new way of making books, combining origami and book binding techniques. Thinking about the concept of “Overflow” and my interest working with refugees these last 2 years, I imagined using sculpture books as a metaphor of the overflow of knowledge and information, that can also submerge ourselves. I wanted to conclude this period with a new work, with interactivity through audience physical presence, triggering self-reflection and suggested conversations about refugees, empathy, transmission of knowledge, and violence. My intention was to encourage audience to have direct agency and be proactive as citizens, with humanity and interests in the common good. About 70 audience members assisted and partook in the premiere of #wecandobetter.
The installation performance, takes the Australian immigration policy of offshore processing and mandatory indefinite detention as a starting point. It questions our empathy and acceptance of differences, and explores ways of opening up to others.

An Overflow installation recapped previous events through video documentation and presented the wastes or unused material of each artist in 13 water tanks. The installation was open from 26 September to 16 November 2017, daily, and attended by the curator Dr. Cornelia Osswald-Hoffmann, working at her desk and viewed through the shop window by more than 200 people and employees of the RAW Department.

While in Germany, I attended ‘After The Fact: Propaganda in the 21st Century’, a three-day sojourn to ‘Documenta 14’ in Kassel and the extraordinary performance ‘Language of the Future’ by Laurie Anderson at the New Music KLANGSPUREN SCHWAZ Festival.

Curator: Dr. Cornelia Osswald-Hoffmann
Coordinator: Carlotta Brunetti
Local Artists: Birthe Blauth, Carlotta Brunetti, Judith Egger, Michaela Rotsch, Susanne Pittroff, and toffaha [Christoph Nikolaus & Rasha Ragab] (Munich/Egypt)
International Artists: Australia: James Cunningham & Suzon Fuks, Poland: Jarek Lustych, Iraq: Kadir Fadhel, USA: Peter Gregorio, and Taiwan: Lin Weilung & Wang Teyu.

SEVERAL TIMELAPSE of the Lake and the Alps viewed from the Villa Waldberta’s Tower are available here. Photos of the Villa and surroundings here.



Suzon Fuks has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body and is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.