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“The Transforming Space”

The new series, the Transforming Space transforms the St. Gertrud Church in Cologne into an instrument. Performance and sound artist Holger Maik Mertin eschews the use of “normal” instrument- the extraordinary architecture and acoustics at St. Gertrud becomes instead quasi the instrument.

The Transforming Space offers a platform for the engagement and search for sustainable formats for the arts- after all, what is more sustainable then using the immediate and surrounding space as resource and instrument.

This series navigates stylistically between the areas of unplugged sound and performance art, contemporary dance and music performance.
This approach is based on a trans-disciplinary performance concept in which various spaces and areas become independent sub instruments. The floor, window surfaces, walls, the vibrating air and also objects found in the room such as banks and chairs all become instrument. ,Normal’ musical instruments will be consciously avoided. Through this, Mertin will transverse space, and will play with the musical space as well as the ,space of dance’.

Along with the solo performance, there will also be held a trans-disciplinary small ensemble of musicians, performance artists, as well as non-artists (architects, philosophers). The thematic and atmospheric cooperation of the performance will manifest through the particular considerations of the conditions in the St. Gertrud church.

St. Gertrude was conceived by the architect Gottfried Böhm in 1960 and built from 1962-1965. In 1967 Böhm won the Cologne Architecture prize for the stylistically „brutalism“ of the asymmetrical form and execution of the building in concrete.


„Drums And More“, that is action and interaction, spirited playing together and passionately meeting another. The audience becomes a part of a creative podium discussion. Everything is possible. Attending a concert transforms into a stimulating event. Since 2009, I have invited personalities from various artistic fields to meet in an open, unplanned dialogue.
The points of departure are the communal joy in playing and the spontaneous development of new ideas in a live context, which always guarantee a surprising and charged result.

The instruments I play on include: Handpan, gongs, overtone drums, and Waterphone, as well as everyday objects and the objects around me in the performance space, the floor and other surfaces. The environment transforms, through this, into an instrument that I greatly enjoy playing, due to its immense freedom and generous potential for shaping.

Previous guests

Jaki Liebezeit (Can), AnnenMayKantereit, Milan Sládek (Pantomime), Hayden Chisholm (Saxophon) & Echo Ho (Electronics), Ballett of the Theaters Pforzheim, Jonas Burgwinkel (drums), Eberhard Kranemann (Ex-‚Kraftwerk‘), Sebastian Studnitzky (Trumpet, electronics), Liron Man (Hang), DJane Marcelle (Electronics), Paul Shigihara (Guitar), Ali Haurand (double bass), Justyna Niznik (Barock violin), Kirvem Davul Zurna (ost-anatolische Musik), Roland Peil (Perkussion), Maria Jonas (Gesang), Martin Sasse (piano), Florian Ross (piano), Matthias Hautsch (guitar), Qualitätsdada (Dada-Performance), Rick Kam & Phuong Tuong (dance), Nina Patricia Hänel & Philine Herrlein (dance), Raphael Mürle (figure theater), Klaus Marquardt (violin), Christoph Neuhaus (Guitar)

© 2020 Holger Maik Mertin. All rights reserved.