The phenomenon of time and how it is measured. (A matriarchal perspective.)

Project Proposal by Visual Artist Sindy Butz


Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Application 2019



3 Video Work Samples and 5 Work Samples, 7 Images


 
 

Vanished Country - Trauma of freedom (1)

Vanished Country - Trauma of Freedom
Multimedia Project: Performance Art for Video Projection, Butoh Dance Solo, Choreography, Fragrance, Photography
Length of solo dance: 17 minutes
Length of video sample: 4.58 minutes
1080p HD, with sound
conceived and directed by Sindy Butz
2018, New York Butoh Institute Festival, Theater for the New City, New York, USA

Concept: Vanished Country - Trauma of freedom explored cultural identity, collective memory, and international 
isolation through the brief history of East Germany, the former German Democratic Republic (1949 to 1990) highlighting 
time-based socio-political transformation processes, the effect of the German division on society and questioning 
political walls.
The art video is showing site-specific endurance performances, studio video shoots and an arrangement of the artist 
private family slide collection of communist military life, professional sports events and family activities during
former East Germany. Butz enters an expansive journey of inner conflicts and mind states. The reoccurring attic 
represents the trauma of the emotional turmoil of trying to escape an oppressive ideology and the unattainable reach for
true freedom. But this attic is also home. The artisanal hand made fragrance "Porta Noir No.1" was developed by the artist 
for the show and evokes memories about East Germany. For the very first time the show presents a fusion of Performance 
Art and Butoh Dance.
 

Homage to Hildegard (2)

 
Homage to Hildegard
Durational Performance Based Video Art
Length of video sample: 4.58 minutes
Length of video art: duration variable
1080p HD, with sound, multi channel
Spring 2016, Wave Hill, New York, Bronx, USA

Concept: Homage to Hildegard is a site-specific project that engaged with the history of Armor Hall at Wave Hill House,
New York.  Armor Hall was build by Bashford Dean a zoologist, scholar, scientist and first curator of the Metropolitan 
Museum’s collection of arms and armor. I performed 7 durational performances with an average of 5 to 6 hours for a total 
of 38 hours as personated Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), exploring meditative activities, and psychophysical body 
limits. Hildegard was abbess, philosopher, Christian mystic, female scientist and considered to be the founder of  
scientific natural history in Germany. Through significantly slowed down speed of motion, repetition, restrained emotion, 

theta brain wave activation, hyper controlled micro movement, mindfulness and holistic body conditioning I execute the 

performances to go into a deep state of introspection, exploring time perception and time keeping through the body 

inspired by canonical hours and life-long meditation of Benedictine nuns. This project was featured by the Marina 

Abramovic's Institute in 2017, which primarily focuses on extensive time-based durational performance art. 
 

Fireplace Project for Hearth (3)

 
Fireplace Project for Exhibition Hearth
Durational Performance Based Video Art
Length of video sample: 4.57 minutes
Length of video art: duration variable
1080p HD, with sound
2017, Wave Hill, New York, Bronx, USA


This video sample shows a collage of the videos presented at the exhibition “Hearth” at Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, 
New York. 


Concept: The Fireplace Series at Wave Hill New York has been filmed and photographed during the Winter Workspace 
Residency 2016. The project features 6 different fireplaces at Wave Hill House, Glyndor Gallery and the Ecology Building. 
The durational performances and interventions in different locations started with the attraction towards the unused
fireplaces and the history of the landmark building and its former residents. Theodore Roosevelt's family, Mark Twain, 
George W. Perkins, a partner of J.P. Morgan or Arturo Toscanini had lived in the former country home in the 19th and 20th 
century. Influenced by the stories of Wave Hill I performed an average of 6 consecutive hours in each fireplace, with a 

final duration of 36 hours. Through hyper controlled micro movement, significantly slowed down speed of motion, theta 
brain wave activation, mental time travel, and holistic body conditioning I execute the performances to go into a deep
state of introspection, exploring time perception, body perception, sensing and the subconscious mind.
 

5 Work Samples, 7 Images

You may hover over the images for quick facts. More detailed information are below the images.

Hearth (1)

Hearth  Sculptural Installations, Olfactory Art, Video Art and Photography  2017, Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, New York

Hearth

Sculptural Installations, Olfactory Art, Video Art and Photography

2017, Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, New York

 
Solo Exhibition Hearth

Sculptural Installation, Olfactory Art, Video Art and Photography

fragrance diffuser, hand made environmental fragrance "Porta Blanc", mixed media sculpture, ceramics, video monitors, 
ambient sound recordings, fabric, digital C-Print
May 27th - July 9th 2017, Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, Bronx, New York, USA

Concept: "Hearth" grew out of the exploration of architectural and historical elements of the landmark buildings at Wave 
Hill in New York. I was activating numerous unused fireplaces on the property through durational performances and 
performed for 36 hours in 6 different locations. The seemingly timeless video art pieces and the environmental 
smoky fragrance evoke curiosity about the history of fire and bring a sense of the otherworldly. The monumental 
sculpture of a fireplace becomes a symbolic portal to the past and the future.
 

Blumenthal (2)

Blumenthal  Conceptual Performance Art Project, film still  Duration: ongoing, 2014 - present  2014, Blumenthal, Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany

Blumenthal

Conceptual Performance Art Project, film still

Duration: ongoing, 2014 - present

2014, Blumenthal, Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany

 
Blumenthal Project
Conceptual Performance Art Project
film still of Blumenthal No.1 - 04/2014
Duration: ongoing, long term, Beginning April 2014 - present
series of video documentation, photography, polaroids, rituals, field notes, sound recording, interviews,
costumes 
Blumenthal Stone, of Blumenthal, near Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany


Concept: In 2014 I began the conceptual art project "Blumenthal Project", with a lifetime contract to a 13th century
offering and market stone in the fields of Blumenthal, Brandenburg, near Berlin. I pledged to come visit yearly and 
chronicle the rocks appearance and environment and perform rituals driven by current political and social issues.
Nostalgia and Heimweh(homesickness)in Amerika brought back childhood memories of when I discovered the stone, playing in 
the forest in Germany at the age of 6. The curiosity about the rocks unknown history, the conscious observation of time 
passage of a lifetime, the transformation and a sacred home or space is the leading inspiration. The completed project is 
intended to be given to a local history museum when the time has come.

 

Blumenthal 1991 (3)

Family Photo Archive  Sindy Butz with grandparents  1991, Blumenthal Stone, Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany

Family Photo Archive

Sindy Butz with grandparents

1991, Blumenthal Stone, Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany

 
Blumenthal Project
Conceptual Performance Art Project
Duration: ongoing, Beginning April 2014 - present
Sindy Butz with grandparents, Family Photo Archive of the Blumenthal Series Collection
1991, Blumenthal Stone, Prötzel Stadtstelle, Germany

 

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral (4)

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral  Installation and Durational Performance Art  2015, Queens Museum, New York

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral

Installation and Durational Performance Art

2015, Queens Museum, New York

 
Silent Conversation with a dead mineral

Installation and Durational Performance Art
Duration: 4 hours
Gemstones: Pyrite Cube, Pyrite, Prehnite Epidote, Quartz Geode, Cobaltoan Calcite, Smoky Quartz, Malachite
magnifying lamp, black Hawaiian lava salt, mirror, water, glass, paper towel, dental guards
November 2015, Queens Museum, New York, USA

In a crystal we have the clear evidence of the existence of a formative life-principle, and though we cannot understand 

the life of a crystal, it is none the less a living being. " Nikola Tesla.

Concept: In the durational performance "Silent Conversation with a dead mineral" I share and amplify the beauty and 
mysteries of minerals in a painful bizarre way. I display the gemstones through my mouth, biting them to hold them in 
place. Every stones is displayed for about 30 minutes in silence behind a magnifying glass. I intend to evoke interest in 

healing stones and comment on the miracles of nature, as well as geologic deep time, and the value of mineralogy and its 
knowledge about earth and environmental processes. Exploring the gemstones this way forces by body and mind to shift into  
a hypnotic like state, deep introspection and restrained emotion. This body experiment and these self made rules cause a 
shift in time perception, body awareness and consciousness. My unique approach to stillness, slowness and micro-movement 
creates new pathways in the brain and supports the exploration of the unconscious mind.
 

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral. (5)

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral  Installation and Durational Performance Art  2015, Queens Museum, New York

Silent Conversation with a dead mineral

Installation and Durational Performance Art

2015, Queens Museum, New York

 
Silent Conversation with a dead mineral

Installation and Durational Performance Art

Duration: 4 hours

Gemstones: Pyrite Cube, Pyrite, Prehnite Epidote, Quartz Geode, Cobaltoan Calcite, Smoky Quartz, Malachite

magnifying lamp, black Hawaiian lava salt, mirror, water, glass, paper towel, dental guards

November 2015, Queens Museum, New York, USA

"Mom what is she doing there?" young museum visitor
"She is being art." mother speaking to the child

The curiosity of the children and the supporting parents during my performance at the Queens Museum were the most 
enlightening moments. After the performance I engaged with many visitors in conversations about gemstones and their use 
in Healing, Fashion, Science and New Technologies.

 

Altar of Imagination (6)

Altar of Imagination, Voices of Stones  Sculptural Installation and Olfactory Art  2014, Schloss Plüschow, Germany

Altar of Imagination, Voices of Stones

Sculptural Installation and Olfactory Art

2014, Schloss Plüschow, Germany

 
Solo Exhibition Voices of Stones
Sculptural Installations, Olfactory Art and Durational Performances
Five Room Installations: Altar of Imagination, Nostalgia, Sound Crystal Room, 
Unfolding Memories and I wish stones could speak.
June 2014, Schloss Plüschow (Castle Plüschow), Plüschow, Germany

Exhibition Concept: For my Solo Show "Voices of Stones." I invited four women who are non-performers and come from very 
different professional backgrounds to perform my performance concepts together with me around memory formation, long term 
memory, collective memory, memory and scent, nostalgia, remembrance and notion of time. In preparation for the show I 
led a movement workshop for them and invited them to stay with me at the castle to develop a feeling of community, a new 
body experience and mindset and get ready to perform a durational performance between 1.5 to 3 hours for the very first 
time.


Room 1: Altar of Imagination 
part of the Solo Exhibition "Voices of Stones."
Olfactory Installation and Durational Performance
fragrance diffuser, botanical fragrance, rose quartz, crystals, purified water, herbs, spices, apothecary 
bottles, wine balloon, french water jug and tray, paper, charcoal
June 2014, Schloss Plüschow (Castle Plüschow), Plüschow, Germany


Concept: "Altar of Imagination" is an olfactory and purified water installation. It's purpose was to be interacted with 
during the performance “Study after Dunbar” which was performed by Arlett Trittel (Manager), and conceived and directed 
by the artist. The performer was asked to write down all names out of her memory of family and friends, colleagues, 

social media connections, neighbors and more. She was using the scent of all materials in the installation to trigger her 

memory. The people she could remember supposedly represent the number of people she actively has social connections with 
and are a memory study inspired by the theory of anthropologist Robin Dunbar and his famous number 150. The study was 
displayed on large drawing paper. 
 

Nostalgia (7)

Nostalgia  Durational Performance and Installation  coal, felt, buckets, costumes  June 2014, Castle Plüschow in Plüschow, Germany

Nostalgia

Durational Performance and Installation

coal, felt, buckets, costumes

June 2014, Castle Plüschow in Plüschow, Germany

 
Nostalgia
part of the Solo Exhibition "Voices of Stones."
Durational Performance and Installation
Duration: 2 hours
performed by guest performers Lisa Overmann, Designer and Anna Hinterding, Child Educator
conceived and directed by Sindy Butz
coal, felt, buckets, costumes
June 2014, Castle Plüschow in Plüschow, Germany

Concept: The performers reorganize a large pile of coal into a circle over the course of two hours while maintaining 
hyper controlled movement, restrained emotion and a slow speed walk. Slowly the coal tinges their hands black, 
leaving traces and marks. Each coal symbolizes a past memory that is meant to be put into new perspective and new order. 
"Nostalgia" deals with re-organizing memories, longing for the past, recollection and the subconscious mind.
 

Review Images