The reinvention of Jakob K.

A contribution to the Exhibition ‘Drawing Attention’ at the Roca Gallery, London, opening September 2019

This drawing forms part of the reconstruction of forgotten Bauhaus choreographer Jakob Klenke’s (1874-1961) works. A collaboration between performance scholars, performers and architects, the reconstruction was developed as an ongoing layering of spatial and choreographical evidence collected throughout the research process. The virtual space of the drawing is co-inhabited by overlapping and often conflicting versions and states of entangled historical proof: 3D lidar scans of Klenke’s studio at the Bauhaus in Dessau; digitally simulated and then physically re-enacted choreographies of his movement practice and working environment; historical drawings and photographs.

The agency of this drawn space goes beyond description, prediction or instruction – it becomes an instrument of speculative forensics, generating from its very contradictions different versions of the object of reconstruction. These different versions, born from the re-configuration of spatial evidence, formed the basis of a 2018 performance at Kampnagel in Hamburg called Jakob K. Der Neue Mensch. The architecture of the performance, at once exhibition, stage set and gymnastics studio, was conceived as a series of actualised fragments drawn from the virtual drawing space. These manifested in the form of physical objects (for example architectural fragments of Klenke’s studio, re-invented as hybrids between Marcel Breuer furniture and fitness apparatuses), projected animations and live performative re-enactments. By arranging the space into a series of overlapping and incomplete fragments, the audience experienced the sense of co-inhabiting this non-determinate virtual space of reconstruction and was invited to participate in the (re)invention of the fictional choreographer Jakob Klenke.