Norbert Klassen, Switzerland

Born in 1941, lives and works in Bern.

The grand seigneur of the Swiss performance scene, Norbert Klassen, has evolved an art of small actions with an experimental mix taken from drama, play, spoken word, and performance art. Klassen  blends humour and serious issues in a most poetic visual expression. The vocabularies of the art world and its exchange systems is a recurring theme in many of Klassen's performances.

Norbert Klassen has great respect for audiences - in their ability to be selective, to retain visual and other information, and to form their own conclusions. He sees his performances (as well as his theatrical works) as being dialogues with audiences. For Klassen, an audience is never a mere convenience. Audiences are to be played with, to be allowed to help shape a performance. He is not a performer who is publicly withdrawing into some extremely private interior or trauma.

Besides teaching acting and performance at the School for Experimental Design in Zurich he has organized different performance festivals, for example BONE in Bern. He is one of the founders of the performance collective "Black Market International".

Norbert Klassen. Infr'Action - Festival International d'Art Performance. Sète. 2007. © Stein Henningsen & Infr'Action.