Joni Barnard, Elisa Purfürst, Fergus Johnson, Azzie McCutcheon – Aug 2021

when we are 4 we are a mess…

Residenzförderprogramm Pilotprojekt


We are a multi-directional, multi-talented group of queer creatures. We are excited by non-hierarchical and consensual approaches to communication and creative processes. We are insisting on them! We are creating them through practice and research. 

In our residency we focused on researching the possibilities of dance and image through collective, filmic and physical practices. What are our desires and interests? What sparks in us? What makes us wet? 

We are aware that extreme acts of violence can happen at an interpersonal level – we are committed to not taking this for granted. We began our process with a three day Consent Workshop and collectively posed the following important questions to hold us throughout our time together. We are inspired by Báyò Akómoláfé’s honouring of ‘the presence of questions’. We think of questions as tools for navigation rather than something to be answered:

What about Boundaries?

Have we framed things Clearly where possible?

Have we honoured the Goddesses of Trickery and Play?

Do we feel safe in our discomfort?

Have we checked in + out? (Do we always have to check?) 

Have we de-briefed?

Have we asked the right wrong questions?

What about the our AFTER-CARE?

What was: 

  • Joyous? 
  • Liberating? 
  • Uncomfortable?
  • Overstepping?
  • Uncanny?
  • Interesting?


Who are we?

Joni Barnard is excited by Queer and Trickster approaches to life and work; practices of consent and radical liberation. Joni is a Berlin based rap and dance artist, live performer, choreographer, dramaturg and cultivator of embodied activism. They are adventurous and wild and find extreme joy in collaboration, experimentation and play! They create subversive work that encourages people to reflect on identity politics and sociopolitical issues. Joni believes this is culturally important for generating self awareness, improving interpersonal relations and igniting transformation. 

Elisa Purfürst‘s Arbeiten sind im Bereich Film und Video angesiedelt. Zudem erforscht Elisa Medien, wie Papier, Malerei und Performance, hierbei gilt das Interesse immer der Beziehung zum Bewegtbild als Praxis. Elisa entwickelt seit mehreren Jahren eigene Arbeiten mit dem Fokus auf queer-feministische Kontexte, wirkt als Kollaborateur:in in einer Reihe von Projekten mit und arbeitet als Editor:in zusammen mit internationalen Künstler:innen. Durch digitale und analoge zeitbasierte Arbeitsprozesse und unter Einbindung dokumentarischer Real-Ereignisse untersucht Elisa die De- und Rekonstruktion von Geschlechtervorstellungen und kultiviert lesbische Sichtbarkeit. Die entstehenden Arbeiten laden die Betrachtenden ein, sich alternative Handlungsweisen außerhalb normativer Strukturen vorzustellen.

Fergus Johnson is a queer artist, movement practitioner and dramaturg based in Berlin. They are interested in bodies, specifically how the body is imagined, created and transformed through physical, relational and intellectual processes. They are also interested in myth, metaphor and magic. They are currently thinking a lot about the idea of a collective self, a self that is positioned in opposition to the isolated individual and sovereign capitalist self. This collective self is practised through collaboration with friends and colleagues, for example Joni Bernard, Naïma Mazić and Azzie McCutcheon, Elisa Purfürst and Zuzana Žabková. At the moment they are feeling very inspired by the MUSCHIMUSCHI queer-feminist tarot deck.

Azzie McCutcheon is a Berlin based dance artist interested in performance as transformation: a place for the sharing, exchanging, understanding and developing of human experience. Creating as dancer, choreographer, movement practitioner and teacher, her work spans different performative styles including performance installation, physical theatre, dance comedy, dance film, contemporary dance and fusion belly dance. Recurrent themes of research include perception, blurring boundaries and the spaces in between, the uncanny, and creating character and narrative through physicality. Most of her work aims not to create linear narrative, but rather endeavours to invite the possibility of engaging or affecting an audience on a visceral level. 


tasks and titles

Departing from a place of non-hierarchy and non-singular vision, we wove our imaginations, resources, tools and strategies together through collective mind mapping. We made a mess! It’s satisfying, it’s takes a long time, it’s rewarding, it’s fucking exhausting! And then, through highlighting, cutting, piling up, categorising, de-categorising and making some hard choices, we created a deck of cards to draw from. Through task-based choreography, improvisation, a camera, a lot of humour and a Vocal Processor, we created scenes, sketches and vignettes.

Tasks and Titles

poisonous pills
not-true confessions
naught to a hundred revolting taste in your mouth
naught to a hundred pushing
delicious opera
daddy has spoken
yawning, licking humming soundscape
slow motion battle royal – no gunpowder allowed
kink stimulation
gibberish negotiations
south mouth cloaca
our body is sometimes many
the category is, “don’t fuck with me”
moving from memory
moving from memory with gestures only
swallowing and un-swallowing
beloved predators
slow hug
body of bedbugs
elio’s brother’s neighbour’s dick



During the final experimental phase of this residency we explored various approaches and constellations of creating performative scenes from our deck. These were generated as a group through tasks, later exchanging roles of observer, director, performer etc. For each new task a specific camera angle or position was chosen. During the last days we recollected previous experiments, revisiting tasks or moments we wished to explore deeper and develop. These include:

  • not-true confessions​ ​
  • yawning licking and humming​ ​
  • swallowing and un-swallowing​ ​
  • embodying a revolting taste​ ​
  • delicious opera

Outcome: the mouth as a focal point and theme.

We imagine a 30-40 minute live performance that includes projected image, live feed and live sound scores using the Vocal Processor.


  • What moments continue to spark for us?​ ​
  • What thematic or practical threads emerge?​
  • How can we refine these?​ ​When will we meet again?
  • When is the next application deadline?​
  • ​When is our next residency?