Hannah Santana

archive of performances & installations

Performance is the experience of art, of presence, of compassion, 
of directness, of honesty, of vulnerability, of confrontation, of vitality, of body, of closeness, of passion, of reaction, of society, of individuality, of experience, of power and of failure.

You have to be present, to open up, to show yourself, to allow yourself to be. 

Performance takes place in the present and, with passion and extraordinary directness, enforces the honesty of existence and thus allows confrontation and questioning.

It is unfettered from an explicit interpretation and therefore a medium of constructing reality and possibility.

Installations open up a space to interact and to intervene.
They allow me to find a language, creating a stage or a setting, so that bodies change their movements and perception within.

Through them context is created, materials are involved, quotations  are made and stories are told through a personal touch.

Installations create a ground, space, perspective you want to focus on and confront others with. It's a lot about choice of material, about creating another order, about taking a decision, creating a dialogue and about movements, that are non linear. They talk about composition, about reshaping, intervening and questioning other ways of encounter. 

Perdidamente - 10.2021

 live Performance
in Make-up,Papierstrasse 11
im Rahmen des Performance Evening Curtains in the courtyard
Fotos von Mounir Karis, Pata Popovaite, Hannah Santana

In the last few months I have been working intensively on a concept for a performance about carework. The basement where the work was supposed to take place was flooded after two days of heavy rain and it became clear that I couldn't let 10 women perform underwater here. My installation was wet.

Cut. New beginning.

I began to write about the encounter with the water and how often work with art is carework, is sisyphus work, is hard work. A new concept has emerged. Leave a trace. I write with charcoal on the ground and wait for the water to return. It came back elsewhere. My hands have worked, they have turned rough of all the cleaning in the basement. On October 23 the last gap was filled during our beautifully composed performance evening. After all gaps being filled, shoe polish brushes served me and the audience to erase all traces until nothing was left. Only the white bundled curtains that had a presence in the room. Covered with dust, I entered the lowest leveld room of @makeup_druebermachen and washed all off. The dust died down. The light went out. I leave this basement and this place where the unconscious and the invisible work of filling gaps comes to an end. After that it became a place to listen and dance.

It was a wonderful year in make-up that leaves its mark and trace.

Ferida - 10.2021

Foto Session
in Make-up,Papierstrasse 11
in preparation of the performance evening Curtains in the courtyard
photos in collaboration with Pata Popovaite

your name means wound in portuguese. I’ve met you some years ago in Essaouira,Morocco. You were my neighbor, sleeping outside. You carried all these canvas along. Each line in your face had endless stories to tell. I still hear your voice screaming in the morning „kayna ula makaynach?“. It means „is it true or not?“. Over and over again. Louder and louder. Hands carrying, eyes screaming for truth, voice reminding to listen.
These photos were taken in collaboration with Pata Popovaite in the basement, where my next installation and performance was planned, before the space and work got flooded. The work can’t take place @makeup_druebermachen, but these photos hold on to the memories and all the women I thought of while working in this basement thinking about the topics of female paths, care and emotional work… Deleting all the traces, filling up buckets of water by myself rage took place. While waiting for the rain to move in again to fill the gap, the memory of you Ferida came back to remind me that memories are true treasures and weapons we carry along. Kayna ula makaynach? 

Blind Date - 04.2021

 live Performance von Sara Schwienbacher, Janina Diekmann und Hannah Santana
in der Paula, Lebendiger Galerieraum
im Rahmen des Rahmen des Spieglein Spieglein Projekts (Partizipatorische Portraits) von Cony Theis
und der Abschlusstagung Kollisionen der Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, Ottersberg
Fotos von Franziska Mohr und Hannah Santana

para além da curva da estrada - 02.2021

Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz
within the exhibition Andernorts Denken, Fühlen, Handeln
photos by Ats Parve

We are standing before the curve. An empty piece of canvas is laying on the ground. In front of this canvas are pigments divided in shells, color by color. I start to draw and encircle my hands on the canvas with charcoal and I continue to draw long long arms. Standing up, picking up the colors, one by one, and distribute them to the persons standing/sitting around. I start walking behind the curve and make a sign for the people around me to follow. Behind the curve is the installation waiting to be moved. Running towards it in advance I stand up behind the dress nailed on the wall. People find me standing with open mouth, eyes closed, arms spread wide, listening to my recorded voice reciting the poem by Alberto Caeiro in Portuguese, German and English. 

Para além da curva da estrada - Alberto Caeiro

Para além da curva da estrada
Talvez haja um poço, e talvez um castelo,
E talvez apenas a continuação da estrada.
Não sei nem pergunto.
Enquanto vou na estrada antes da curva
Só olho para a estrada antes da curva,
Porque não posso ver senão a estrada antes da curva.
De nada me serviria estar olhando para outro lado
E para aquilo que não vejo.
Importemo-nos apenas com o lugar onde estamos.
Há beleza bastante em estar aqui e não noutra parte qualquer.
Se há alguém para além da curva da estrada,
Esses que se preocupem com o que há para além da curva da estrada.
Essa é que é a estrada para eles.
Se nós tivermos que chegar lá, quando lá chegarmos saberemos.
Por ora só sabemos que lá não estamos.
Aqui há só a estrada antes da curva, e antes da curva
Há a estrada sem curva nenhuma.

The dress is pressed to my throat I feel my breath being blocked, I start to listen. With the poem ending I hide in the dress and come out of a cut in the canvas with a bowl of water and a shoe brush. I start to clean the canvas, where the poem is again written with charcoal. Trying to delete the words, they become even more visible. My voice speaks up, I improvise, talk about what (andernorts) elsewhere has been for me. It has been a place of escape. On the same time I start to explain that elsewhere can't be considered a part of this ground or any place calling it an "other". In my understanding elsewhere can only be, what comes after life. I clean, talk, expose my thoughts. Coming to stand on the colorful carpet I dress a clean dress out of canvas, above my black clothing, and sit down facing the audience. Suddenly we are pretty close. I ask someone to fill up my bowl with fresh and clean water. After that I clean my hands and face with water, over and over again. The pigments are standing next to each person. I look at the colors and ask with my eyes to receive it back. No reaction. I talk about where these colors came from. Just one person returns the color back. It is black. I threw the color on my face and start cleaning it. My white dress becomes black. The same person comes close to me and starts cleaning my arms and hands. I feel touched, silenced. Hands given, I press her hand to thank her. I wait for others to return. A moment goes by. Silence. I undress, lay the dress on the carpet, go back to escape in the cut of the canvas and play again the recording of the poem, staying hidden behind. I leave the installation from the side, collect the colors one by one and throw them in the bowl of water standing in front. After that I leave the installation and disappear again behind the curve.

timecapsule - 02.2021

live performance on jitsi

photo by Dennis Esakov

During an online seminar called Monuments and monumentality by Prof. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Sunette Viljoen I performed and recited a poem about the sea. Meanwhile a short film  (moving waters in heart beating rhythm, slow motion lines, and hands feeling within) is being projected on me. During the recitation of the poem I repeat a ritual of cleaning my face with water while repeating the chorus of the poem:

I monumentalize you, 
in memory to keep, 
because love 
shout out 
respect I should remember. 

Wie fühlt es sich an? - 2019-2020

28.07.2020 - 15.08.2020

Exhibition of a participatory project
 SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 10967 Berlin

Carla Steinbrecher - Christine - Elisabeth - Elisabeth W. - Elke - Evita Emersleben - Fabian - Gunda - Insa Pape - Johanna - Johanna Wildhagen - Kathrin Stalder - Lea Berndl - Marion - Michaela Marcian - Nina Romming - Norma Ingenfeld - Raphael - Sigrid + 5 anonymous participants

blind spots - 06.2020

photos by Mounir Karis

During an online seminar, called bright lights in hard times I did this long durational (2,5h) performance, where I put two red painted paving stones on top of my eyes. They were hanging on two strings and a nail on a wall, but fell with full weight on and against my eyes. I can't see, I can't move, just be and listen. 

untitled - 03.2020

photo series in collaboration with Jongbin Park

Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee Hochschule für Gestaltung

Como somos? - 10.08.19

Duration: 20 minutes (+60 minutes of still)

PerformanceArtStudies, SomoS, Berlin,
photos by Monika Deimling

I'm lying in the middle of the room on my back, hands and arms stretched above my head, my legs open wide. Every muscle is tense, except the eyes. Clothes tone-in-tone with the floor. In my hands I hold white strings tied and attached to paving stones (collected in Berlin streets), which are lying spread above my head. People come near me, to touch the stones and read what is written on them. With my eyes closed, I can only feel the strings pulling. The hands hold tight, hurt. A loud scream, a twitch, my eyes open. People wake up. A jerk, a second jolt, I sit up and do not let go of the strings. Around me, a semicircle of people standing and sitting. Slowly my body gets up and pulls up the stones by the strings together to the air. I hold the weight up, looking people in the eye. The sentence sounds out loud Eu tenho medo. Ich habe Angst. I am afraid. The stones sound back on the floor. On every stone there is written a fear. I pull a stone, chose a person, turn to her, call out my fear and ask: Do you feel the same?. With each answer, I arrange the stone on a principal and empty wall. Yes and no. What matters is not the answer itself, but the eyes of the respondent. I create a statistic. How scared are we here and now? After further questions I hold up the rest of the stones and ask loudly and aggressively: Why did you push it? and I leave the room with the unknown and unsaid fears. What stays behind, are the chosen stones and confessed fears, on one side the no, on the other the yes and with that the silence. 

fremdschämen  - 06.2020

video performance
(video stills)

In this video performance (40 minutes) I keep on turning a red string around my head. My eyes are constantly looking at the camera lens. While turning the string around, my face starts to be  covered and slowly deformed by pushing. I don't feel pain, but a strong pressure, that makes breathing, keeping eyes open and listening hard. After covering up most of the face, I become irrecognizable until a certain point where I start to go backwards uncovering the face again, still feeling all the pressure left behind by this act.

 This idea appeared while I was looking for an expression for how I feel about all the acts of racism appearing and reappearing again and again. I'm tired of history repeating itself and the feeling of under pressure and pain it leaves behind. I feel shy, so shy that breathing, looking and listening to this acts of violence and injustice become impossible to swallow without a deep anger and struggle behind...

im Fremden sein - 06. & 07.02.2020

n.b.k. Neuer Berlin Kunstverein / Chausseestrasse 128/129 
performative soundinstallation & photo series

Ausstellung Politik / Poetik des Raumes,
Eine politisch–künstlerische Recherche zur Mystifizierung der Stadtentwicklung Berlins nach dem Mauerfall

innerhalb des Theorie-Praxis-Projekt im Studiengang MA Raumstrategien 
an der Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee

Die Soundinstallation mit dem Titel "im Fremden sein" zeigt eine Arbeit im Prozess zu einem Versuch, sich ins damalige Berlin hineinzuversetzen und ein Verständnis für das gegenwärtige Berlin zu entwickeln.

Hannah Santana sucht nach dem Ausdruck eines Zustands, der durch das Phänomen der Unlesbarkeit von Geschichte geprägt ist. Ein Zustand des Scheiterns, des nicht mehr Wahrnehmen Könnens, des nur noch in Fetzen zu Hörenden. Die verbliebenen Lücken werden vollgestopft oder glattgezogen und sind nicht mehr als solche erkennbar. Wo sind die Zeichen, die Verweise, die Zeitzeugnisse, das Alte, das Raue, das aus sich heraus Verweisende und Erinnernde?
Wir finden uns wieder im Jetzt Berlins. Eine Stadt der Suchenden, eine Stadt der schnell tickenden Köpfe, eine Stadt des schnell Verdauten?
Im Fremden sein tastet sich kritisch und fragend an dieses Jetzt heran und an den individuellen Umgang und der Wahrnehmung von Geschichte, Geschichtserzählung und dem Verlust von Wahrheit und Wahrhaftigkeit. Zeichen der Zeiten, die womöglich nur unter der Oberfläche liegen.
Übrig bleibt ein Gefühl von Unbehagen, Schwermut, Zweifel, Sackgasse, Schuld, Fehler. KNOTEN. Zunächst nur eine Geste, dann ein Körper, dann ein Kopf, dann eine rot gewordene Geschichte. Sie hängt. Übrig bist Du.

carry knots  - 02.2020 

moving with knots in public spaces specially underground of Berlin, 
photos by Mounir Karis

from me to you  - 09.07.2019

Performance with Theresa Sowka,
PerformanceArtStudies, SomoS, Berlin, 
photos by Monika Deimling

Theresa Sowka received from me a box full of red objects (tomatoes, peaches, a book, a vase, dried flowers, a mirror, color, scissors, a pincer, a tape, a pencil, a letter, a lighter, a skirt) and the invitation to use me in the performance. We entered the room, me dressing a red dress and she in her green, grey daily clothes, I stood behind her keeping my eyes on her watching her. She sat down, I sat down, Nothing was planned. She open the box, took each object out and distributed them around her on the ground. She took her trousers off and dressed the skirt. She took the lighter and lightened the flowers. The burning roses started to cover the room with a biting smell. She took her shirt off and covered her breast and face with the red color. After a straight look into the audience she stood up dressed her shirt and I followed her, giving my last and only glance to the audience from the position she was standing before. 

A gift from a woman to woman seems rare in these days, we thought.
Standing together and side by side seeing each others vulnerability as a strength is a way we long for. Together we are able to look back, relearn and gather thoughts and strengths for a stronger female future. 

sie träumte davon (durchgestrichen) - 08.07.2019

50 min. performance,
PerformanceArtStudies, SomoS, Berlin, 
photos by Monika Deimling and Hannah Santana

I am sitting on the ground and leaning to the wall. Open gestures, open eyes.
 I am looking up, past everything, looking inside.
Snippets (cut art works, drawings, photos, texts) lie around me and on top of me. I feel the time receptively, passively, keep on listening. My limbs become hard and cold, my ears much more sensitive, my eyes hurt by keeping them open wide. Holding hands carrying and waiting. On my right is a plastered book. Only one line is still free, but also crossed out with a thin plaster thread. ", sie träumte davon."

This work deals with lost and kept memories spread looking back into life. Life is full, full of immaterial richness. Lost in pieces I try to gather them as inspirations, lessons and material to continue working as an artist.

saudade - 04.07.2019

PerformanceArtStudies, SomoS, Berlin, 
photos by Monika Deimling

I am standing in the middle of the room, being watched. With firm strong steps I walk backwards with my eyes closed. My hands are stretched out to the back, grasping what comes. I hit a wall. I try to keep walking back. Try to push the wall. Again and again. Resistance. My right hand grabs my clothes - my eyes open - and pulls me away from the wall. The other hand pulls with it. The body doesn't want to go forward, away from the wall. Small slow steps are enforced, taking me out of balance. I'm staring straight ahead. Hands pulling me forward. The mouth silently screams the word "saudade" over and over. The hands pull the clothes over the head and make the body sit on the ground in in an embryonic position, covered in silent black clothes.

Versprechen - 02.2018

two letters,
Final BA artwork
HKS Ottersberg
photos by Mariann Schäfer & Judith Seeger

Zeichen - 02.2017

Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, Ottersberg
photos by Mounir Karis

Walking in and out of my studio, this place becomes a place for rethinking my ways I took in the past and will take in my next art projects. Art studios are sacred for me, a personal space in between. Here are my footprints, my thoughts as close and imperfect as they can be. A place that is full of process gathered and intertwined moments of thoughts not knowing what comes next. 

Outing - 06.04.2017

Marta Herford Museum
Exhibition Die innere Haut
photos by Cony Theis

Resonanzperformance III - 07.05.2017

Übergabe by Alicja Kwade

Weserburg - Ausstellung Künstlerräume

Resonanzperformance II - 04. - 05.2017

Günther Uecker, Wind, 2008

Lübecker Museen, Kunsthalle St. Annen in der Ausstellung
Lübeck Sammelt 1. Von Max Beckmann bis Moroslav Tichý

Grenzerfahrung - 19.06.2016

Performance during the opening of the exhibition Inklusive inklusive 
Skulpturenpark der Gerisch-Stiftung in Neumünster

photos by Astrid Wriedt 

Von der Erinnerung bis zum Vergessen - 2015-2016

series of performances
 Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, Ottersberg
photos by Mariann Schäfer

Resonanzperformances I - 03.-04.2016

series of performances
Andrew Gilbert

St. Petri Kirche & Overbeck Gesellschaft, Verein von Kunstfreunden e.V.
Exhibition Ulundi is Jerusalem, Andrew is Empereor, Brocoli is Holy 

Anderswo-Projekt, HKS Ottersberg

Hannah Santana

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