Rike Scheffler Interview: Poetry as a Performance

Experience the thrilling young German poet and performer Rike Scheffler, whose poetry celebrates the union of language, music and singing, unfolding as mesmerizing text-sound-collages. In this short video, she talks about the impact a performance can have on poetry.

When she performs, Scheffler uses her voice as an instrument, sometimes adding loop-stations and effects, which allows her to “create different shapes” and “open up spaces within your imagination.” The sound of her voice performing the poetry furthermore adds a new physical layer: “Not only using your intellect, but also really using your height and your body and being free of the direct meaning of the word, but also having this sensation, this experience with it – and this is why I combine poetry and music.”

The use of repetition in poetry fascinates Scheffler “because it kind of puts a hole in time, and you can re-enter a feeling, a metaphor, a space with the help of repetition.” Repetition, however, is only possible if you build up a system, and language, she feels, is a system that humans have created. Moreover, repetition can be painful when it continuously brings back an agonizing sensation, which she e.g. exemplifies in the sad love story in her solo loop poem performance ‘Honey, I’m Home’ (2014).

Rike Scheffler (b. 1985) is a German poet, musician artist and performer, who creates work at the intersection of music and poetry, across media and art forms. Scheffler alternates between publishing poetic pieces and more performance oriented – often sound-driven – shows. Among her work is the three-part poetry intervention ‘Words that Hurt’ for the Festival of Future Nows at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (2014). Scheffler’s poetry collection ‘der rest ist resonanz’ (2014) won the Orphil Debut Prize for political and avant-garde writing. She lives and works in Berlin.

Rike Scheffler was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in August 2016 in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark.
Camera: Simon Weyhe and Anders Lindved
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2018
Supported by Nordea-fonden

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