Austria    Susanna Andreini    


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1.- Aspects of Women Sex-sells, denkt die Seehundfrau verwundert | Sealwoman

2. - Atemplatt | Flatbreath

3. - Boy oh Boy

4. - Der Student und die Witwe des Oligarchen | The Student and The Oligarch's Widow

5. - Die Amme hat genug | Wet nurse who is fed up

6. - Die Metzgerstochter | The Butcher's Daughter

7. - Die Wahrsagerin | The Fortune Teller


8. - Der Student und die Witwe des Oligarchen | The Student and The Oligarch's Widow.

9. - Engelzart | Angel's Touch

10. - Hanfmann | Hempman

11. - Sag mir Worte | Show me words.

12. - Die Mäzenin | The-Patroness



















In the studio:
"Because they aren´t things"

This short dialogue between Susanna Andreini and me is a extract showing something in the work of the artist. Let´s assume therefore in this text that it is not things that she produces but characters. What interests us first of all is the character, not the form.

You recognize Susanna Andreini through her figures, you find her in her figures - not because she resembles them outwardly but because they show us how she sees people. This is how she offers an insight into our worlds.

Susanna Andreini loves her creatures in the way she most probably loves people – she has a personal intimate relationship with the figures. This is hard for some to imagine and yet, this is intrinsic in practically every biography with childhood memories. The bear or the doll were never merely bear or doll but highly individual characters in or childlike world order. But here we are grown up beyond the world of childlike games and the figures become a surface for reflecting on self.

As we converse, Susanna Andreini quickly, almost self-consciously, draws a semi-transparent curtain across the large mirror in the rehearsal studio. She does not like to see herself as she talks – and yet she surprises and discovers herself again and again as a reflection in her own figure creations.

Nevertheless, each one of her creations is the attempt to take an unbiased look at the world – and at oneself - which can certainly be considered the more difficult exercise. "I aim to reflect something from (human) life".

The figures are often funny, strange, sad, scary but they stand before us with dignity and honour. With her figure design and presentation, Susanna Andreini offers us the option of a lovable approach in dealing with human characteristics which seem hardly loveable to us at first. She does this, not in a naive way, yet innocently, in the best sense of the word, beyond cuteness.

Playfully and often with humour, "moments taken from the life of a person" are transformed by Susanna Andreini into figuration. When the shape evokes emotion, she says: "The figure is functioning".

There´s the Happy Moneyman, for instance – who is at peace with himself, likes money and uses it to give delight, the Poet Waterman – who writes poems, loves and enlivens water through poetry, the Butcher´s Daughter, who cultivates hidden character traits.

Besides their unique presence, the figures all have a story, reflecting something of their (human) life, but leaving enough space moreover for the individual stories of the viewers.

This orchestra of characters challenges the viewer to a non-verbal dialogue. Look at us. Look at people to their face.

The figures are made up of a head – a face – with eyes, which look at us – that is the first thing we notice. The second part of their character, their body, is constituted of consciously chosen elements:

they are "all dress", cocktail glass, flowerpot, only hand and foot or an egg, sewn up taut in pinstripe. Every detail becomes a cryptic bearer of meaning, significantly legible.

In the formation, these things, materials and accessories are fused, brought together within the creation process rather often by intuition to become – a figure. They are tried on and thrown off and complement, in the end with concern for every detail, the multi-layered meaning of the figure. That is how the body is abstracted, separated from its actual outlines, transformed into symbolic information. That is how the figures are devoid of cliché.

It is in the dialogue with the viewer that en-live-ns them, although they co-exist even before then in the texts which tell something of their (life)stories. The figures can also be mechanically animated. Quite minimalistic movement options are used by Susanna Andreini to awaken them. The result is a magical moment when the figures stir to life through the spoken text and the acted-out scene. A visual-figural opus develops from the theatrical production. The artist loves the dialogue on stage, the interaction with her figures and the viewers. This is how figures, text, recitation and animation together result in precious theatrical cameos.

Gerold Tusch