Tempus: Pauline Gabert’s performance at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium

September 27, 2022

The performance and video work Tempus by Pauline Gabert takes place with 250 athletes at the Olympic Stadium Berlin in relation to the ancient Olympic Games. The performance is documented by the director Stephen Isaac – Wilson from London. Tempus takes up the history of the stadium to emphasize a movement culture against all forms of dictatorship and racism.

Pauline Gaberts work is framed by staged scenes reminiscent of a theatre situation, reviving the idea of an ancient “event” as a medium to celebrate the cult. The stadium and running tracks act as a stage for the demonstration of a real event of a “game” with “members” who have specific “roles”.

The coming together in small groups to play “sport” together demonstrates its spiritual potential: following the club structure of a sports club, the performers act as „members“, the event as a situational gathering with a ceremonial character. The 250 athletes function as pilgrims, the stadium and the sports venue as a sacred place of transcendence.

Tempus thereby explores the relationship of movement as a temporal element. In doing so, the performance focuses on a definition of the form (tempus) of movement (tempo=time).

The sense of this work is a dynamic, unfolding, volumetric structure that adds to its own possessive quality and creates a medium by its own. The stadium forms a utopian backdrop against which a game takes place that in combination reveals a new genre.

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