June 2023 — Performing Arts
Bernese performance artist Zoë Binetti, who performs under the moniker zozoTransistor, will return to Kumasi, Ghana from 1-30 June 2023 to continue her Sensorial Theatre research and to present and develop new work in this field. Zoë creates embodied performances that interface between sound, touch, smell, movement, sight and installation. She describes this art form as Sensorial Theatre, which manifests itself through an unexpected interweaving of the senses to open up new and individual spaces of perception for the audience.
Starting with an artist residency at pIAR in Kumasi, Ghana in 2021, Zoë’s research in the field of Sensorial Theatre has been ongoing for several years resulting in practical research formats such as the performance series “Synaesthetic Experiments”, the workshop series “Synaesthesia in the Arts/Experimental Documentation”, the peer-to-peer research “What Is Dance If Not For the Eyes” as well as participation in the movo residency “Dance Facilitation without Language” and the peer-to-peer artist residency CritLab in Tamale, Ghana, all in 2022.
During her current research trip, Zoë will stage performances of the Sensorial Theatre piece “cast(s)”, a site-specific and space-adaptive performance, at various locations in Kumasi, each followed by an artist talk. These activities will be in conversation with members of the ExitFrame Collective, blaxtarlines Kumasi, crazinisT artisT studiO and Kumasi Anglican Secondary School for Art.
In “cast(s)”, Zoë’s co-actors are large paper sculptures moulded from the surfaces of the performance space. The live score is likewise created from the objects in the space – for example from trees, metal plates, a piano, a wall or a street lamp. During the performance, the cast(s) transform from installation to costume, to dance partner, to beings. Through a multisensory process, Zoë invites the audience to feel their way into the skin of the place to experience what stories it has to share.
“cast(s)” was developed over the course of a year through multiple iterations in different locations in Switzerland and Ghana. The cast(s) paper sculptures were developed in collaboration with Ghanaian artist Samuel Baah Kortey. They emerged through the “Synaesthesia in the Arts/Experimental Documentation” workshops that Zoë hosted for school children during her research trip in Ghana last year.
Following each performance, Zoë will host an artist talk to provide more insight into her Sensorial Theatre process, for example the use of contact microphones, puppetry with abstract objects, the clown, “failure” as a seduction strategy, light and sound as a visible part of the performance. The aim of the discussion is to open the space for exchange and dialogue about the possibilities of performance art with art students and other interested people. From these exchanges, Zoë hopes to connect with possible future collaborators to create a new Sensorial Theatre piece in the winter of 2023/24.
Based in Bern, Switzerland, Zoë Binetti has an MA in Contemporary Arts Practices from the Hochschule der Künste Bern, has trained in physical comedy at the Independent Republic of Failure in Spain, and been practicing butoh and experimental music for 15 years. Zoë runs the Sinnestheaterstudio in Bern – a research space for Sensorial Theatre dedicated to the exploration of shifting epistemologies through movement and sound. At the Sinnestheaterstudio they develop their dance theatre and music performances, teach queer animist performance practice, provide coaching and conduct artistic research in the thematic field of relations between sensory perception, mind and movement. Alongside her research, Zoë creates and tours solo performance pieces at an intersection of light installation, dance and haptic music.