HYENAZ are Berlin-based sound and movement artists Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate and Adrienne Teicher. The immersive performances, dance tracks, soundscapes, performative installations and a/v works they produce utilize the sonic shape-shifting of field recordings gathered in the process of site-specific works.
Since 2015, HYENAZ have undertaken a music, performance and sonic research project entitled “Foreign Bodies.” At its core, Foreign Bodies is a slow movement journey that explores relationships of bodies in motion and bodies in resistance and interrogates the notion of the “foreign”. They have visited refugee camps, squats, and intentional communities—prisms through which to examine the ways in which bodies move and collaborate in relation to, in resistance to, and despite management and control of their bodies/movement. In a series of audiovisual works and performative interventions, HYENAZ examine and challenge the mechanisms that treat the body as a foreign object: a thing to be managed and controlled, an unknown territory even to itself, an “other” to be feared and annihilated.
Central to this project is the idea that the body is disappearing: from social interactions blasted into the corporate cloud, to machine intelligence tangled in the systems that govern life, to techno-futurists fantasies of an age where analogue flesh has vanished into digital consciousness. At this uncanny juncture, where surfaces look familiar but everything is shifting, HYENAZ have been working with the visceral body.
HYENAZ are in the residency phase of their 6th work in the Foreign Bodies Series entitled Extraction, with support from Fonds Darstellende Künste. Extraction examines extractivist practices in art and specifically within sonics and field recordings in order to develop better accountability practices.
Another work in the series is Perimeter, a cross-genre audio work, music video, and VR documentary which asks the question: what does it feel like to understand oneself as “just outside” and yet also “just barely inside” an identity, a concept, a philosophy, a group, a family, a home, a situation, a gathering. The project featured Berlin-based performers Mmakgosi Kgabi, Martini Cherry Furter and Simon(è) Jaikiriuma Paetau and was supported by Musicboard Berlin.
With support from Musikfonds, HYENAZ created a generative sound installation with Yusuph Suso entitled Ex-Situ, which explores how human beings exist in past, current, and future homeland(s).
Outside of Foreign Bodies, HYENAZ have collaborated with artists and writers to create diverse audiovisual works, such as Eku Eku Eku (a call to death), with Ghanaian multi-disciplinary artist Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] supported by Goethe-Institut and “Bodies, Figurations, Worlds,” a series of queer educational films by professor Antke Engel.
In the summer of 2021, HYENAZ returned to the stage as musicians and sound designers for a performance of Sivan Ben Yishai’s text “Unsere Stadt aus Vogelaugen / Eine Blutung im Dunkeln” at TD in Berlin, having premiered the piece at the Münchener Kammerspiele.
In 2019 they premiered their stage show “knowbody” at Studio Я – Maxim Gorki Theater, choreographed and directed a group of contemporary dancers called Clusterfuck for Peaches’ epic stage revue, “There’s Only One Peach with the Hole in the Middle,” and designed sound for “Du Verdienst Dein Krieg: 8 Soldiers Moonsick” written by Sivan Ben Yishai and directed by Sasha Marianna Salzmann.
Through their immersive live performances at spaces such as Berghain, Museum Modern Contemporary Art, Seoul and SXSW, HYENAZ have looked at the possibilities and importance of physical touch and wrestle with how the body operates inside new sets of seemingly opposing forces, ie “the virtual and the real.” Yet the arrival of a global pandemic has brought into sharp focus new conditions and limitations to physical engagement. It has created heightened awareness around the importance of redefining community and creative forms of “touch”. HYENAZ welcome the challenge of continuing their practice of somatic based performance in these changing and alienating conditions.
HYENAZ is a project that disintegrates borders, torpedoing the dividing lines between music and performance.
Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel
[In] the performance of Hyenaz…. everything is water, so we are people, water bodies, all connected…. It’s not a blurred vision, but a hyper-vision.
Simone van Saarloos, De Groene Amsterdaamer
The duo are known for pushing their forward thinking electronic music and confrontational performances into fully realized artistic expressions.
If you’ve roamed around the never-ending artistic rabbit holes of Berlin, HYENAZ are a household name that you’ve certainly come across, and all for the right reasons. Foreign Bodies, a research project the duo have been conducting over a long period of time, dissects questions of embodiment through a thorough lens and has seen them move on from a band set up to a/v artistry, exploring boundaries and concepts, disrupting sounds and images in several bodies of work such as manifestos, audio tracks, essays, performances and video.
Francisco Gonçalves Silva, Berlin In Stereo
“Performative Monster Duo”
“Best Live Acts Berlin 2014”
“Creatures of ritual … soundscapes, choreographies and appearances that are at once refined and rough.”
“Best Artists List 2013”
Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art
“#HYENAZ #everything #power #future #ancient #performance #transcendence”
“Beautiful, frightening, arousing: gender-bending synthwave from @hyenazhyenaz is one of our best #SXSW14 discoveries”
“HYENAZ inhabit a special space in between, where art can be musically AND visually interesting,”