Sindy Butz is an interdisciplinary visual artist, artistic researcher and educator. Butz's art practice is project based and spans the disciplines of performance art, sculptural installation, performance based photography and video art, video sculpture and coaching and consulting through art and movement. She was born in the communist German Democratic Republic and raised in the suburbs of East Berlin. Butz is living and working in New York since 2009.
She received her B.F.A. in sculpture from the AKI- ARTez Netherlands, a M.F.A. in Art in Context from the Institute of Art in Context, University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin Germany. In 2009, she was a fellow of the German Academic Exchange Program with a DAAD Jahresstipendium to research at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University on wearable art.
Her work has been presented at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Fountain Art Fair Miami and New York; Select Art Fair, New York; Alice Austen Museum, New York; Rush Arts Gallery, New York; Museum der Dinge, Berlin (DE), Korean Experimental Performance Festival KOPAS, Seoul (South KOR) among others. She has been awarded Artist in Residence in Schloss Plüschow, Germany (2007), Chill Rialaig, South Ireland (2007) and Hwaseong, South Korea (2008).
In parallel to her art practice, her dance enthusiasm has lead her to the position of a principal dancer at the New York Butoh Dance Company, Vangeline Theater since 2010. She has performed with the company at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York (USA), El Museo del Barrio, New York (USA), and Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, New York (USA). Butz studied Dance Theater and Ballet since the age of 6 and is currently pursuing a dance teacher certification of the Maureen Fleming Technique to realize her upcoming art project “Engine of Memory”.
I am a New York-based interdisciplinary visual artist, somatic movement researcher and educator, and Butoh dancer. My time-based practice spans the disciplines of durational performance art, body art, performance-based photography/ video art, multimedia and multisensory installation, contemporary ceramics, experimental movement improvisation, and olfactory projects.
Having been born in a military household in restraining and communist East Germany a decade before the Berlin wall fell, my personal history has profoundly influenced my research-based work exploring political and religious belief systems throughout history, ideologies, identity, the notion of belonging, socio-political transformation processes, collective memory and the human unconscious. I investigate the fragility and vulnerability of the human condition in juxtaposition to evolution and geologic deep time. Exploring the grand scale of time means making better sense of the history of life on earth and encourages humankind to learn about our impact on this planet, reviewing the past to shape a better future. On a smaller scale, I ponder the phenomenon of disconnect experienced by the contemporary body in society and consider the rediscovery of sensations through reflective time in performance art as a portal to amplify empathy and compassion, as well as to kindle social change.
From 4-hours long gold leaf eating as a commentary on the lure of capitalism to orchestrating endurance performances embedded in multisensory sculptural installations on landmark remembrance in an 18th-century Castle Plüschow Germany, I employ my body as a tool to re-tell vanishing and forgotten history triggered by political, social and cultural shifts in society.
I approach my conceptual performances, video work, studio photography, sculpting, automatic writing and drawing from a self-psychoanalytical perspective to undergo profound states of introspection, sometimes reaching hypnotic conditions through significantly slowed-down movement, stillness, repetition, walking, restrained emotion, transcendence, patience, psychophysical body restrictions and even silence.
In 2016, I created Homage to Hildegard, a site-specific project that engaged with the Armor Hall at Wave Hill, Bronx, New York. I performed 7 durational performances for 38 hours impersonating Hildegard of Bingen, investigating canonical timekeeping, life-long meditation, and body-mind limitations. This project has been featured by the Marina Abramovic Institute MAI in 2017.
In 2018 and 2019, I primarily produced multimedia dance solos and developed my teaching method Sindy Butz Somatic Butoh based on my experience as performance and body artist with the intention to pass on body wisdom and the craft of endurance.
My ongoing research on the phenomenon of time, human biology, sensing, perception, behavior and ancient medicine led me to live with Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Saint Hildegard, Germany in 2017 to deepen my understanding of the complex world of altruism, dedication, and compassion. These endeavors help me to connect profoundly with my audiences in touchingly intimate, neo-shamanic, and otherworldly performances to heighten self-knowledge, awareness, body wisdom and emotional intelligence.