Performing Surgery

Movement Research in the Operating Theater (2015-2018) - an artistic research project in collaboration with Christina Lammer

Doris Stelzer is invited to join the three-year artistic research project Performing Surgery - Movement Research in the Operating Theater led by Christina Lammer, a research sociologist, collaborative multimedia artist and lecturer based in Vienna, funded by the PEEK program of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and based at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Abstract by Christina Lammer

The artistic research endeavor Performing Surgery examines operating hands. They are regarded from two perspectives: as motoric precision tools and as for the bodily reality of another human being empathetically feeling organs. While operating touch and movement – in interpersonal contact – are inextricably connected.

In the operating theater with video and analogue film gathered movement materials – operating hands – serve as the foundation for the development of drawings and choreographic works. The endeavor is inspired by the responses on a video installation that was created in recent years in the context of plastic surgery. A series of three Hand Movies (Lammer 2012, HD videos à 5′),, was discussed at a variety of occasions both at home and abroad. The Hand Movies offer a starting point. We – the visual artist Barbara Graf, the choreographer Doris Stelzer and I, the sociologist and videographer Christina Lammer – are particularly interested in the physical skills of surgeons and how they are achieved. In our understanding the operating hands are organs of interpersonal contact. They articulate a unique language of the Leib (body). They – the hands and their moving vocabulary – shall be explored with the help of drawing and choreographic methods.

Read more about Christina, her work and the other project members ...

Photo: © Christina Lammer 2014, videostill, Super 8 movie