Friday, 28 September 2007

1998 Flea Circus Performance Art in Berlin

Performancemania: Hayley Newman

Back in 1998 artist Hayley Newman and filmmaker Nina Koennemann performed their Flea Circus in Podewill, Berlin. Working under the alias Malcolm & Lily. The 'circus' was two fleas made from sunflower seeds and garlic skins attached to wires.

With the the sterotypical prop of a magnifying glass Nina and Hayley stood on either side of an individual audience member and recited passages from Waiting for Godot. Hayley's memory is cloudy here but she belives it was the exchange between Estragon and Vladimir, where they contemplate suicide and talk about hanging themselves from a tree (in this case, a tomato stalk). The experience was unique for the audience member with each of the individual parts being spoken into a different ear.

Hayley describes this "as a philosophical take on the anthropomorphism of fleas".

There is a photo of Hayley preparing the circus as well as a description in her book Performancemania which is available in art bookstores or via Amazon. For details of more recent projects see

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