The aim of this project is to create a performance that will last for eight hours – the normalized span of a working day (at least in Western-European conceptions of employment). The performance refers to my personal past, working as a tailor for several studios and workshops.

I will invest eight hours of labor in undoing my own work by taking apart a jacket that I have made myself (within more than 60 hours of handcrafting).

The performance should take place in a shop window.

The performance will take place during summaery 2023.

The project poses questions of what it takes to undo or erase – what can possibly be undone through the process of taking apart and what new things, objects, ideas, feelings, memories, and values emerge from it?

Is it possible to undo work? And with it erase passed time? Ultimately, will it be possible to undo time?

Performance Score:

+ The performance will happen inside Kiosk.6 at Sophienstiftplatz, Weimar.
The performance will take 8 hours. Within the 8 hours I will take apart a jacket that I have made myself during my apprenticeship stitch by stitch.

+ With me in the Kiosk there will be the jacket, a chair, the tools I need to take it apart, an empty mannequin, a punchclock and a camera. The singled out pieces of the jacket will fill up the window displays bit by bit.
The camera will be directed at my face, covered in tears, or at my hands by turns.

+ The front window of the kiosk will be open to enable interaction with passers-by.
Above the window there will be a screen showing what the live-camera captures.
Next to the screen the title of the performance is displayed.

+ Every hour (starting on hour 0) I will punch the punchclock, that is programmed to count backwards. I will also use a tear-stick to make my lacrimal sacs produce tears.

+ The performance ends when the 8 hours have passed. By the end all pieces of the jacket shall be detached from each other.

Why Tears?

In tailoring, like in many artisan traditions, there are a lot of superstitions intertwined with the craft. They mostly connect with abjects of the body of the artisan, produced while working on a piece. For example: In Germany, when making a wedding dress, a drop of blood should be placed somewhere at the inlay – which is supposed to bring good luck and help for a happy marriage (it also used to symbolize bloodline and a mother’s grieve, as the mother of a bride was supposed to sew her wedding dress). In France, unmarried embroiderers would sew in one of their own hair into a wedding dress, in order to be the next one to marry.

I decided to create a new superstitious tradition, making use of my tears. By crying while opening the seams of my jacket, I can make the past undone.

At the same time, the meanings of the tears – like those of the drop of blood – are manifold. They symbolize superstition, but they could also flow because of grieve, trauma, fear, melancholy, or relieve. They catalyze negative emotions and wash them out.



I cry to purge.

To cleanse my body.

And let go of the pressure.

Catharsis (Ancient Greek: κάθαρσις) is a term often used to describe that state of purification. Most prominently described in Artistotle’s Poetics, it was in ancient times and is still today in use as a means of narration. Aristotle found catharsis mainly in the dramatic form of tragedy. The staging of a tragedy evokes a state in the audience that ought to purge them of negative sentiments. This is achieved through mimesis (imitation or simulation) of actions. Poetic text and theatrical acting together induce a more or less intense simulation, depending on the skill of their originators – according to Aristotle. A good mimesis then provokes those two things called éleos and phóbos in the spectator.

Pity and Fear are commonly used as the English translation of éleos and phóbos. Within German speaking studies though, their corresponding terms „Mitleid“ und „Furcht“ (a translation originating from G. E. Lessing) would be criticised as imprecise. Therefore a more accurate description of what induces catharsis would be lament/ emotion (Jammer/ Rührung) on one side and terror/ shudder (Schrecken/ Schauder) on the other.

A good catharsis is meant to help me cleanse my passions or sentiments. As I watch the protagonist go through intense states on stage (or respectively: on screen, in a novel, in a telenovela etc.) I feel for them. I take a stance towards the mimetic simulation in which my sentient and, what’s more, my moral compass are shaped. Catharsis, throughout history, was therefore frequented as an instrument for moral and politcal education – bearing in itself, of course, the immediate potential of misuse.

In a psychological sense, the element of catharsis is also in use, very pracitcally, to cleanse from traumatic experiences or to handle negative memories. There are various methods in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy that attempt to induce cathartic moments, hoping to heal wounds. (see, for example: anger therapy (S. Freud), psychodrama (J.L. Moreno))

The importance of telling stories of trauma, and with it building a bridge between the literary and the psychological sense of catharsis, is pointed out by philosopher Richard Kearny:

„Cathartic healing involves the narrating of past wounds both as they happened and as if they happened in this way or that. And it is precisely this double response of truth (as) and fiction (as-if) that emancipates us from our habitual protection and denial mechanisms. One suddenly experiences oneself as another and the other as oneself – and thereby begin to apprehend otherwise unapprehendable pain.“

Kearny, Richard: „Narrative Imagination and Catharsis.“, n.d., Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.


Abd Elsalam, Dina: „Psychodrama and Sociodrama: Aristotelian Catharsis Revisited.“ Alexandria, UP, 2015.

Aristoteles: „Poetik.“ Translation by Manfred Fuhrmann. Stuttgart, Philipp Reclam, 1982.

Cherry, Kendra: „What is Catharsis?“ Verywell mind, 20 Aug. 2022, Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.

Halliwell, Stephen: „Katharsis.“, 2005, Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.

Katharsis. Dorsch: Lexikon der Psychologie, n.d., Accessed 12 Jan. 2023.

Kearny, Richard: „Narrative Imagination and Catharsis.“, n.d., Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.

Sabata, Valeria: „Die Bedeutung der Katharsis in der Psychologie.“ Gedankenwelt, 15 Nov. 2021, Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.

The Meaning of Catharsis in Freudian Theory. Act For Libraries, n.d., Accessed 10 Jan. 2023.