Life as a complete artwork: Who is Johanna Sarah Schlenk?

The young artist draws her artistic energies at the interfaces of acting, dance, sculpture and photography

Johanna Sarah Schlenk (*1988) puts people at the center of her work. The artist explores their communicative actions in the most diverse social fields of action. In doing so, she leads the viewer into aesthetically surprising spaces, towards a game of exciting interdisciplinary interactions. On this multifaceted path through space and time, all components, including the viewer and documentation, become part of an artistic entity.


The basis of this complex, interdisciplinary work is a sound education and temporary teaching activities in each of these fields. She began her education with acting studies in Cologne, followed by a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the Alanus University/Alfter. After stays abroad in Colombia and European scholarship programs, Johanna Sarah Schlenk is currently studying at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and will soon graduate with a Master’s degree in Performative Arts.

Theatrical Stagings

Johanna Sarah Schlenk develops her performance artworks as well thought-out theatrical productions, with a clearly defined beginning, a climax and an end. They are repeatable. The location of the performance is an impulse and part of the planning. For example, the Performance Mean Water is determined by lake and dune landscapes. With her works on philosophical-psychological and religious themes, on the forest in its mythological and wild manifestations, Johanna Sarah Schlenk conquers inexhaustible spheres of influence. The central theme is always the interdependence of man in the extended socio-political context and the natural phenomena surrounding him.

Drawn by VR – Real Motion in Un-real Reality

The new realities of virtual worlds are also woven into the performative cosmos of the artist. Her concept for a virtual performance also focuses on the human being. In our age dominated by ever new technologies, this is not a matter of course. With all her physicality and Google glasses she draws her traces into the universe. The aesthetic event is revealed in the playful interactions between the physically dancing movements of the human body and the virtually spatially drawn lines. It is a puzzle game in which human vibrations are mirrored in infinite virtual space. These reflections in turn determine human motion sequences, influence consciousness and the view of the world.

Creating Consciousness through Visualization

In the performance, people’s actions and reactions to their environment are made visible. His reactions, his perception and the creative impulses that arise from this mutual mode of action are experienced in both analog and virtual dimensions. This experience opens new ways of perception. It sensitizes the consciousness to differentiate between the different movement spaces and their effects. For Johanna Sarah Schlenk, the key to the invention of our future and its human-ethical design lies in sounding out the interfaces between real and analog reality.

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