SUSANNE PFEFFER How did you begin working with other people?
ANNE IMHOF I’ve always been interested in my immediate environment. I’ve always drawn portraits and was fascinated by the idea of working with bodies in time and space. It started with a desire to create a connection between the image and the present. I wanted someone to look while I was creating images, but it didn’t work to have people watching me make drawings. What did work was playing concerts and inviting people to attend. Something happened then; images emerged in space.
SP I like the fact that the people with whom you develop your pieces also become, or already are, friends. You’re not concerned solely with their bodies—you care about their autonomy, their thoughts. You draw on the individuality of each performer; everyone has his or her own motion sequence.
AI It would be difficult to determine whether I create these sequences or they create themselves. It all depends on whether everyone accepts being part of a system that enables real and non-scripted encounters. I want to conjure an image, and while some things solidify immediately, others just don’t cohere. This is why I often come up with a title prior to the actual performance, as with Angst. We must find a language in which we can all communicate.
SP Do you distinguish between individual and collective moments of movement? Do you conceptualize these differences?
AI It’s hard to say, because our way of working is often very fast-paced and rather intuitive. For instance, I say things like, “Here, it would be good if everyone did everything.” I am intrigued by the equalization that results from that process. Of course, there is some sort of script, but we often disregard it, like violating a law that only we know is there. For me, those are the most captivating moments.