When Gustav Mahler found out about his fatal heart disease, he wrote to a friend: “I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was, and I have to learn my first steps again like a new-born.” It was then that he wrote Das Lied von der Erde where he reflected on man’s struggle with his mortality in the context of a constantly renewing nature. FOREVER is based on the last song in Mahler’s series, Der Abschied.
In 2004 Grace Ellen Barkey and Lot Lemm set up Lemm&Barkey to give shape to their close artistic cooperation: they work on the concept, set and costumes for Barkey’s creations, and create art installations.
Grace Ellen Barkey’s stage productions are sequences of images that attempt to be autonomous. Lemm&Barkey’s visual art work is an in-between stage in the archiving of these autonomous images. An in-between stage because Barkey never wants to achieve her aim. She is not interested in solutions, but in the problem itself.
The use of a craft, both porcelain and knitting and crochet, seams to form a bigger story. The materials that pass through the hands of artist Lot Lemm, are treated in an almost relentlessly hysterical manner and made into something monumental.
Their visual work has been exhibited at several museums including BOZAR (Brussels), Benaki Museum (Athens), Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris), CC Strombeek, Dr. Guislain museum (Gent), Triënnale Hasselt / Superbodies i.a.
Their film ‘The Porcelain Project | Installation’ (2007) was selected for the Festival International du Film sur l’argile et le verre (FIFAV) in Montpellier.
In 2013 Lemm&Barkey made 'Odd? But true!', a wordless dance performance for all ages, opening up their work to a young audience.
Idea, choreography: Grace Ellen Barkey
Installation: Lemm & Barkey
Music: Gustav Mahler, Der Abschied (Das Lied von der Erde)
With: Maarten Seghers, Sarah Lutz, Mohamed Toukabri
Musical dramaturgy: Rombout Willems
Dramaturgy: Elke Janssens
Sound: Bart Aga / Pierrick Drochmans
Production & technics: Marjolein Demey, Gwen Laroche
Trainee assistant to the director: Camille Doucet
Coproduction: Steirischer Herbst, PACT Zollverein, Internationales Figurentheater-Festival
With the support of the Flemish authorities
Premiere: 24.09.2016, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz