Interview with Ann Noël
Q: Why / when / how did you start to work with performance, what is your background, how did you arrive at doing performance?
I married Emmett Williams in 1970, one of the founding members of the FLUXUS movement. When we moved to Berlin in 1980 and became self-supporting artists, we began performing together, both at performance festivals and independently at art venues in Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan and Korea. My own performance scores are the result of a long thought process and research. I need time to develop ideas and gather props and materials.
Q: Can you tell about your latest project?
I usually have several projects being worked on at the same time. The present one is about anti-aging make-up, which I use to improve my own self-portrait (a painting on canvas.) The first performance was at the museum FLUXUS+ in Potsdam 10 years ago. The self-portrait, my own appearance and the products have changed a lot since then and I’m making a MAKE-UP MAKE-OVER here in Berlin this August.
Q: Do you also work within other fields and what kind of material do you express yourself and use in your work and how did you arrive at using this material?
Performance art is only one aspect of my creative output. I also make Artist’s Books, digital photomontage, assemblages and art installations. My materials are often printed matter, corks, words and objects, which make noise – and my voice.
Q: How do you experience or consider the audience / surrounding? What space / surrounding do you find interesting to work in? How does your surrounding influence your work? Do you involve the public? If so, how?
I often ask for volunteers from the audience to assist me. This works better in a more intimate situation, not on stage in a large auditorium. One needs to be aware of the reactions of the onlooker and adapt oneself to them. They need to see what I am doing.