Performance Space - Performance Stage: Zweite Haut / Second Skin

Autumn semester / 1st & 3rd semester

Dates & Location:


Universität / Haute École
Hochschule der Künste Bern
Valerian Maly and Dorothea Schürch & guests
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

Performance Space - Performance Stage: Zweite Haut / Second Skin

Lisa Meier

Professor Movie Costumes, Faculty of Performing Arts, University of the Arts Berlin

Barbara Vinken
Fashion Theorist and Professor of General and French Literature science,
University of Munich

Sandra Lemp
Fashion Designer, Bern

Further guests invited:

Our first skin serves as a kind of “shell’, a demarcation between the inside and the outside. It is a protection from environmental influences and the medium via which inner equilibrium is represented and maintained. Likewise, the second skin – the concealment of the body with clothes – has both inward and outward significance. But it does far more than protect the skin from the adversities of its environment: clothing and fashion also serve as symbolic and cultural signifiers. In their role as a normative and aesthetic means of expression, clothes represent one’s personal identity and communicate social belonging. Across our approximately one-and-a-half square meters of natural skin, entire dramas play around the “codification” – via clothing – of affiliation and demarcation; of exclusivity, self-expression and uniformization. In looking at the signs and symbols etched on this second layer of skin, at the phenomena of body modifications and, above all else, at the clothes and make-up that envelope and extend our bodies – in other words, at our “second skins” – we encounter a whole array of questions regarding identity, camouflage, game and spectacle.