i (to be defined)


i (to be defined)

Benno Steinegger has spent two years interviewing a wide range of people about a common subject: himself. Responses to his request “describe me” were as diverse as the relationships he shared with his subjects: from his physician, who spoke about his blood test, to his mother, who went through his biography, to a shaman who based his description of Steinegger on his own spiritual visions. Listening back to those interviews it became clear that this was a journey of discovery of the artist’s own identity: Who am i, who can i be, and how do the viewpoints of external observers differ from the perception i have of myself?

The starting point of i (to be defined) is the reconstruction of Benno’s identity through the eyes of people who know him. This process led to an investigation of the boundaries of his identity, a refusal to take for granted characteristics which had previously seemed clear and well-defined. By translating this information into physical and vocal exercises, the process attempts to explore the possibility of deep personal transformation.

Just like Parsifal, who found the Holy Grail only after listening Trevrizent the hermit’s describe him to himself, we can only discover our true identity after having investigated all aspects of it, including those aspects which are most obscure.

Benno Steinegger

Benno Steinegger’s work has always evolved around investigating the concept of ‘identity’. He tries to break through the surface of appearances, to capture the complexity of continuously changing identities in contemporary societies. With his work, he questions the stability of identities and aims to build up dispositives that offer his public the chance to reflect on themselves, in order to catch aspects of their own changing identities.

Steinegger has previously worked with the collective Codice Ivan. Between 2013 and 2015 he worked on the long-term project The Casting, an investigation into the political implication of the search for beauty. This research produced several staged portraits in the form of performances by amateur-actors. His latest performance, i (to be defined) (2016), is a reconstruction of Steinegger’s own identity through the eyes of people he has interviewed during two years. He is currently part of the Artistic Nursery of Garage29.


Direction: Benno SteineggerDramaturgy: Simona BonacinaCollaboration direction: Luca Camilletti, Colyne MorangeSound design: Riccardo FaziCollaboration music: Andrea ComandiniVocal training: Francesca della MonicaCollaboration costumes and scenery: Francesca Grilli Technique and light: Valeria FotiGraphics: cakesandbunches.netProduction: Codice IvanProduction collaborator: Kinkaleri spazioK.pratoCo-production: Festival Transart, Vereinigte Bühnen Bozen, wpZimmerArtistic residence: Spazio K (Prato-IT), Festival Aterteater (Val Badia-IT), Vooruit (Gent-BE), Kaaitheater (Bruxelles-BE), Pianofabriek (Bruxelles-BE), Centrale Fies (Dro-IT), wpZimmer (Anversa-BE)Support: Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, Regione Trentino//Alto Adige, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, WPZimmer, European Cultural Foundation & Step-Travel-GrantsSpecial thanks to: Roberta Dapunt and Lois Anvidalfarei, Anna Destefanis, Jessica Glause, Leonardo Mazzi, Satelliti (Andrea Polato & Marco Dalle Luche), and all the people who made an interview.