excerpt from We claim space! by Ursula Maria Probst:
The Forbidden Fruit has been tasted
In a project realised in collaboration with Vincent Bauer under the name WENIGERBAUER, Nicole Weniger's work leans again towards the performative. The project Society of Posthuman Experience (2012) was developed for The Last World-Exposition at the Gschwandner establishment and is based on the theme of how one could deal with possible future apocalyptic scenarios artistically in a performative process. The project began with the founding of the fictional organisation, the Society of Posthuman Experience, which carries out research and experimentation that should lead to the survival of humankind after the apocalypse. The performance operates with modes of scientific research, focuses on red-haired people and is carried out by several performers. It is redheads who would have a higher chance of survival in the case of an apocalypse, for according to WENIGERBAUER the end of the world would mean the loss of all sunlight and redheads (with their pigment mutation) are less dependent on solar radiation than any other people. In the artistic installation that is the laboratory, redheaded performers are at work as lab technicians.
The performance consisted of artfully staged experiments on the subject of light and happiness. The performers involved in the project took on roles according to a script. Visitors had the opportunity to become involved by positioning themselves under a specially built installation and taking part in the 'Young Light' experiment, under supervision of the red-haired lab technicians. The blue drink that was to be drunk during this process carried the label 'Complementary Nectar'. "The Society of Posthuman Experience has already begun researching methods for genetically preparing the ordinary masses, by way of the Alpha Group, for the dark future", read the thought-provoking slogan, evoking Michel Houellebecq's literary style. As with her solo projects, in this collective venture Nicole Weniger develops open processes, thus leaving room for expansion by potential participants.
photos by Manfred Rainer & Thomas Albdorf