AGENT PROVOCATEUR

Natascha Stellmach, 'Fuck Art Let’s Dance', 2016, archival ink on photo rag

Imperfect anagram of ‘Fuck Art Let’s Dance’, 2016, archival ink on photo rag

Agent Provocateurs were traditionally ‘secret agents’ employed to lure suspects into committing an act with evidence. In this context and within the realm of durational performance art, the visitor is transformed by Stellmach into an agent provocateur for a night – to encourage a discourse, with statements that critique the role of the artist and contemporary art in society.

These brash and humerous text-based pen tattoos not only encourage an accessible dialogue around art and body-image, but are also a direct reflection of our vulnerability and humanity. The tattoos become both a fashion accessory – with Stellmach tattooing to complement “the evening’s antics and outfit” – as well as a positive transformation of the author’s initial, often highly-charged sentiment. In keeping with many of Stellmach’s ephemeral works, these naively scribed, yet bold words are ‘exhibited’ on the skin of participants, to end up in the sheets, the shower or a selfie.

For the first edition of Agent Provocateur, which was also performed at Documenta 13 in 2012, people of all ages queued to have their own temporary text-based tattoo, which lasted between one to three days.

Queueing up for a pen tattoo during the Agent Provocateur happening at dOCUMENTA(13), August 3, 2012

Visitors queue to participate in or watch Stellmach’s Agent Provocateur at dOCUMENTA(13), August 3, 2012

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Ben wears an Imperfect anagram of ‘Fuck Art Let’s Dance’, 2016, Kosmetiksalon Babette, Berlin

AGENT PROVOCATEUR (2)
Natascha Stellmach’s newest incarnation of her ongoing body of work, is a performance in which she pens more ‘word plays’ onto bodies, this time working in an anagrammatic manner with the iconic 1980s phrase by the literary subversive, Lawrence Ferlinghetti: ‘Fuck Art Let’s Dance’.

AGENT PROVOCATEUR (1)
Informed by the controversy around her major project with the ashes of Kurt Cobain, the “tattooed” statements critique the merits, ethics and parameters of the artist and contemporary art in society. Visitors were invited to choose one of the countless responses to Stellmach’s project, but only from a pool of responses which debated “art”. This was then written onto their skin by the artist.
More information on the performances in: Berlin | Melbourne | Kassel | Miami

Natascha Stellmach, Danny wearing Juxtapoz, San Francisco, 2011

Danny wearing Juxtapoz, San Francisco, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Beat wearing tokik, Hungary, 2012

Beat wearing tokik, Hungary, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, 2012, Annica & Simon wearing Wiseblood, Lisbon, ink on photo rag, 40 x 60cm

Annica & Simon wearing Wiseblood, Lisbon, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Hannah wearing Varookamcsalt , Southern USA, ink on photo rag, 40 x 60cm, 2012

Hannah wearing Varookamcsalt, Southern USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, 2012, Matthew wearing NCA, Portugal

Matthew wearing NCA, Portugal, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Ian wearing Unregistered User, Seattle, ink on photo rag, 40 x 60cm, 2012

Ian wearing Unregistered User, Seattle, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Nigel wearing wankerette, Sydney, 2012

Nigel wearing wankerette, Sydney, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Shane wearing Svenska Larm, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012

Shane wearing Svenska Larm, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Jutta wearing meritamun, Germany, 2012

Jutta wearing meritamun, Germany, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Susan wearing tiewee, Murder Valley, USA, 2011

Susan wearing tiewee, Murder Valley, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Donna wearing Matthew Laidlow, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, 2012

Donna wearing Matthew Laidlow, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Vas wearing GOply, USA, 2012

Vas wearing GOply, USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Marlene wearing Uncle Eccoli, USA, 2011

Marlene wearing Uncle Eccoli, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Kika wearing tom b, USA, 2011

Kika wearing tom b, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, 2012, Michael wearing Lloydy, England

Michael wearing Lloydy, England, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Maria Wearing mutika, Hungary, 2011

Maria wearing mutika, Hungary, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Suzie wearing Rodrigo, Columbia, 2012

Suzie wearing Rodrigo, Columbia, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha Stellmach, Nirvana wearing Flipjuhh, Limburg, The Netherlands, 2011

Nirvana wearing Flipjuhh, Limburg, The Netherlands, 2011, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Natascha wearing GibsonGeek93, USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 40 x 60cm

Natascha wearing GibsonGeek93, USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm

Kaan wearing Alex Miller, UK, ink on photo rag, 40 x 60cm, 2012

Kaan wearing Alex Miller, UK, ink on photo rag, 44 x 60cm, 2012

Natascha Stellmach, Ana wearing Walker Morrow, Duncan, BC, Canada, 2012

Ana wearing Walker Morrow, Duncan, BC, Canada, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Nui wearing Nick, Norway, 2012

Nui wearing Nick, Norway, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Chris wearing Heart-A-Tact, Orlando, FL, USA, 2011

Chris wearing Heart-A-Tact, Orlando, FL, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Patricia wearing Pele Mele, Greece, 2012

Patricia wearing Pele Mele, Greece, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, David wearing mowgli, Slovenia, 2011

David wearing mowgli, Slovenia, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Alyssa wearing Jeffrey Greenblatt, New York City, 2011

Alyssa wearing Jeffrey Greenblatt, New York City, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Juliane wearing Johnc_22, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2012

Juliane wearing Johnc_22, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Oli wearing Rodrigo, Columbia, 2012

Oli wearing Rodrigo, Columbia, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Judy wearing Pele-mele, Greece, 2012

Judy wearing Pele-mele, Greece, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Martina wearing kevinm4435, 2012

Martina wearing kevinm4435, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Ilona + Margret wearing GOPly, USA, 2012

Ilona + Margret wearing GOPly, USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Joanne wearing Vestus, Germany, 2011

Joanne wearing Vestus, Germany, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Cynthia wearing Gibsongeek93, USA, 2011

Cynthia wearing Gibsongeek93, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Arne wearing Alan Posener, Berlin, 2011

Arne wearing Alan Posener, Berlin, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Andrew wearing Nick, Norway, 2012

Andrew wearing Nick, Norway, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Maria wearing The Walrus, Iceland, 2012

Maria wearing The Walrus, Iceland, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Christian wearing Olivier Friedrich, Germany, 2012

Christian wearing Olivier Friedrich, Germany, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Camilla wearing Varookamcsalt, Southern USA, 2012

Camilla wearing Varookamcsalt, Southern USA, 2012, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Holly wearing tokik, Hungary, 2011

Holly wearing tokik, Hungary, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Sheri wearing tokik, Hungary, 2011

Sheri wearing tokik, Hungary, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Estela wearing The Walrus, Iceland, 2011

Estela wearing The Walrus, Iceland, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Oriana wearing meritamun, Germany, 2011

Oriana wearing meritamun, Germany, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Ylinka wearing clavin99, 2011

Ylinka wearing clavin99, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Narim wearing mynameisjeremy, USA, 2011

Narim wearing mynameisjeremy, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Sabrina wearing mnhockey99, USA, 2011

Sabrina wearing mnhockey99, USA, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Olivia wearing Batman10120, Hertford, UK, 2011

Olivia wearing Batman10120, Hertford, UK, 2011, ink on photo rag, 60 x 44 cm

Natascha pen tattooing in Berlin 2011

Stellmach pen tattooing in Berlin 2011

Natascha pen tattooing at dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel, 2012

Stellmach at dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel, 2012

Stellmach, Natascha pen tattooing in Melbourne 2012

Stellmach at Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne 2012

Natascha pen tattoos Nicole at Pulse Miami 2011

Stellmach at Pulse Miami 2011

Natascha pen tattoos Hilary at Pulse Miami 2011

Stellmach at Pulse Miami 2011

Natascha Stellmach photographing Clara during the Agent Provocateur happening at Wagner+Partner, 2012

Agent Provocateur, Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2012

Installation view, Agent Provocateur photographs & slide show at Anna Pappas Gallery Melbourne, 2012

Installation view, Agent Provocateur, Anna Pappas Gallery Melbourne, 2012

Natascha photographs Annica & Simon during her Agent Provocateur happening at Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne 2012, photo by Tristan Davies

Agent Provocateur, Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne 2012, photo by Tristan Davies

Natascha Stellmach pen tattooing, Agent Provocateur, Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2012

Agent Provocateur, Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2012

SELECTED PRESS
Studio, SBS Australia | Natascha Stellmach – 3 min video by The Apiary

Thankyou for your amazing presence at PULSE Miami! Everyone had a Stellmach tattoo at the end of the art fair. Staff, patrons, exhibitors, everyone! What a beautiful community action you brought to us! Cornell Dewitt, Director PULSE Miami | New York