The Institution
German / English
216 pages
ISBN 978-3-89581-459-4
November 2017
Alexander Verlag Berlin

Welcome to ‘The Institution’.

Staged over the course of eleven days, ‘The Institution’ is the durational performance of an institution: it embodies the promise of a different social context and the model of an institution that integrates that which has been excluded and yet has to remain temporary in order not to become authoritarian itself.

It does not involve a stroll through institutions, but rather an appropriation of institutions and their modification by means of a kind of ‘institution hacking’, as it were. [Robert Seyfert]

The many photographs and documents contained in the present volume are devoted to this production. The book opens with a reflection on ‘The Institution’ by sociologist Robert Seyfert and concludes with excerpts from two discussions between Herbordt/Mohren and legal scholar Emanuel V. Towfigh exploring an as yet unrealised experimental laboratory between theatre and law.

‘The Institution’ is part of a far-reaching project series of the same name. Founded by Herbordt/Mohren, the project has taken the shape of an art installation, an online archive, a label and a temporary workgroup, presenting formats between art and science; everyday life and the stage; laboratory and home.


The Theater
German / English
255 pages
ISBN 978-3-89581-429-7
November 2016
Alexander Verlag Berlin

What if a whole village were to be staged?

From October 2015 to June 2016, Herbordt/Mohren invited guests to Michelbach an der Lücke for performative country outings.
Vacant spaces around the central village square were played – as archive, guest house, cinema, museum, and theatre. Between the stage and the everyday, citizens’ initiatives and art. The book at hand documents the performance (‘The Theatre’) as well as festivals, presentations, and conversations (‘The Village Festival’ and ‘The Theatre Festival’) that accompany it. ‘How much theatre is present in the everyday organisation of life? And in the organisation of institutions? – We started occupying ourselves with the topic at a place where, for the time being, there’s nothing, and tried to pose the question of institutions in a new way. – For individual terms, momentary ‘potentialities of difference’ are developed within it. What else can an institution, a performance, an audience, a theatre actually be?’ [‘The Theatre’]


Vorgestellte Institutionen / Performing Institutions
German / English
320 Pages
ISBN 978-3-89581-347-4
January 2015
Alexander Verlag Berlin

How can institutions be defined?

In a fictive conversation, artists, curators, and scholars discuss which duties institutions fulfil, and which criticism they should be subject to. And: how they could be conceived differently. They refer to examples of architecture, the visual arts, and law, they ask for a tradition of institutional critique in the performing arts, and for a philosophy of potentialities. Performing Institutions is a working journal on conditions, objectives, and necessary updates of institutions, compiled from excerpts of the conversation series ‚Performing Institutions' and combined with scene descriptions and archive materials of the artists and editors Herbordt/Mohren.

With contributions from Annemarie Matzke, Bernhard Herbordt, Emanuel V. Towfigh, Florian Malzacher, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Iris Dressler, Jan-Philipp Possmann, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Jens Badura, Katja Diefenbach, Knut Ebeling, Marcell Mars, Martin Nachbar, Martina Grohmann, Matthias Warstat, Maximilian Haas, Melanie Mohren, Michl Schmidt, Natascha Siouzouli, Pirkko Husemann, Sandra Umathum, Stefan Apostolou-Hölscher, Steve Valk, Suresh Kumar, Ursula Achternkamp, Vesna Vukovic and a foreword by Esther Boldt

Performing Institutions arose from the research group 'Art as Research' of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. With kind support from the Center of Excellence 'Cultural Foundations of Integration' at the University of Konstanz.


The Play
German / English
110 pages
July 2012
The Institution

001. ‘The Play’ is the score of an institution. It is performed by readers and passersby. Now and now again. It documents a public experiment, the becoming of a fictional institution. And its passing. As its witnesses, we are documenting, in one hundred paragraphs, possibilities of encounter and assembly. Individual paragraphs have been made available to us for publication, have resulted from the observation of actual events, from coincidental as well as arranged conversations, or have been completely made up. (from The Play)

The Play is the script for a performance series of the same name.