Martin NachbarGood Hands2005

When Eva Meyer-Keller is on the stage, she is in fact crafting all the time. And she always invites the audience to craft with her – not precisely with her performance, but with their own “watching”. The result is that the latter loses its connotation of passivity and becomes an active deed.

However, craft is in the first place a hobby. The artist fabricates one single object out of basic materials. She is driven by the urge to play, because the fun lies above all in the act of fabrication itself. It is not really about the object as such. She uses diverse materials: glass, wood, metal, paper, cardboard, stone, crown corks, beer mats or matches. The objects she creates can be very diverse too, from furniture through ships in bottles to performances.
The purpose of the performance is not the possession of it. After all, it is not an object one can keep. Even if objects are created during the performance, this performance is in the first place characterised by the time that the performer and the spectator spend in the same room, and not by the material that it may leave behind. But how is a performance made?

In theatre, there are always two sides, the actors on one hand, the audience on the other. Dick Baecker states that those two sides are placed in a relationship of nearness, in which the precise mechanisms are not defined. The only clear thing is that there is a borderline and there is contact at that borderline. These contacts eventually lead to multiple senses. In the best case, nearness evolves towards complicity: actors and audience are alert and enjoy spending time together.

On both sides of the rehearsal process, there is an event that actually triggers the performance: the presentation itself. Only when the audience gets together with the actors and multiple sense is brought about (sense as in sense perception as well as meaning), we can speak of a play. By individually applying diverse approaches, observing evolves into crafting. The fun lays in the first place in giving sense, not so much in being right with regard to the interpretation of what is happening.

So, when Eva Meyer-Keller fabricates her performance with her colleagues, she invites the spectators to work, from their side, on the performance and more precisely on their standpoints, views and visions. Dexterity, or in other words, Good Hands, does not prove who is the most dexterous, who makes the prettiest gingerbread house or who has the clearest vision, but who enters into multiple sense and complicity between the actors and the audience, between happening and watching. Craft in the best sense of the word.