VERENA STENKE and ANDREA PAGNES, have been working together since 2006, generating art in the mediums of live performance, filmmaking and writing, and through independent curatorship. Their works have been presented widely across Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia and Africa, and have been described as transfixing, confronting, spellbinding, humble, uncomfortable, carrying fresh iconography, cathartic, visceral, liminal, shamanic, tensional, silent, delicate or mysterious.
VestAndPage's practice is process-led and conceived psycho-geographically in response to architecture, natural surroundings or historical sites. It examines the fragility of the individual within different social or environmental spheres. Exploring what, as human beings, we still have to offer, VestAndPage question our existence within a humanity characterised by social exclusion and global atrocities. Animated by a nomadic, confrontational spirit, they apply the themes of acceptance, resistance, crisis and endurance with a poetic bodily approach to art practice.
VestAndPage collaborate with international theatre companies, cultural institutions and humanitarian organisations in production and education, presenting a methodological workshop series that works on memory activation and stimulation of the personal, inner library for creative use. Their writings have been published in various books and magazines of contemporary art such as Art&Education, Performance Research, Research Catalogue, Re-tooling Residencies, Flash Art, Nexus, Hesa Inprint, and translated into German, Italian, English, Spanish, Hindu, Chinese and Finnish. Their book "The Fall of Faust - Considerations on Contemporary Art and Art Action" (Florence, 2010) investigates the intimate tissue of creativity, questioning performance art as urgency.
They are the independent curatorial force behind projects such as the Venice International Performance Art Week (2012/2014) and the on-going global art initiative "FRAGILE global performance chain journey."
Between 2010-2012, VestAndPage produced the experimental art film trilogy "sin∞fin The Movie" on three continents - in Antarctica, India, Kashmir, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, combining the ephemeral art form of Performance with filmmaking.
Stenke and Pagnes are recipients of the Fellowship of the Cultural Program of Argentina’s National Antarctic Direction (Buenos Aires/Antarctica, 2012); AIR Taipei International Residence Fellowship (Taipei, 2012); Art Kontakt Prize (Tirana, 2011); Treviglio Video Poetry Prize (Italy, 2011); Nassauer Kulturpreis (Germany, 2011); Heinrich Boell Stiftung Project Grant (Berlin, 2010); Storie literary prize (Andrea Pagnes, Rome, 2008); Millennium Painting Award in representation of Italy (Andrea Pagnes, Windsor & Newton, 2000); UE Robert Schuman Silver Medal (Andrea Pagnes, 1990).
VERENA STENKE (Germany) is trained in theatre, martial arts, contemporary dance, and holds qualifications as a special effects makeup artist and mask maker. Her work combines situational-induced movement and filmmaking, and her studies in Oriental and Social Theatre further contribute to a highly corporal artistic exploration based on the conditions of here and now. She focuses on the concepts of collective memory, conditioning, liminality, figures, light and the idea of union.
ANDREA PAGNES (Venice, Italy) holds degrees in Modern Literature and Philosophy, and certificates of high studies in Museology, Art critic, and Creative writing. He translated among others "Jurassic Park" into Italian, and has been working as an independent curator, writer, painter, and glass sculptor. He founded cultural magazines, and has been the artistic director of a Murano glass factory. He obtained the diploma of Social Theatre operator, working as actor and playwright with psychic patients, former drug-addicted as well as physically disabled people. These experiences determined his approach to arts working on the conflict of personal and social responsibilities.