SIGNA is a Copenhagen based artistic collective founded by Signa & Arthur Köstler. Developed since 2001 from performances by Signa Sørensen (now Köstler), the fundamental concept of their projects is best described as performance installation. Each project is a devised site-specific performance played in non-traditional art spaces. In collaboration with an ensemble of international participants, the founding members of SIGNA conceptualize and perform in wholly immersive endurance installations which engage with archetype, improvisation and highly curated visual landscapes, to indulge and investigate structures of power and degradation, fate, identity and desire. The audience is invited not only to visit and explore the extensive installations, but also to interact with and in some cases, impact them.
There are several conceptual and structural qualities that in their amalgamation, frame SIGNA’s work. These components, seen in Signa Sørensen’s (now Köstler) earlier works from 2001-2004, have expanded in scope to become definitive of SIGNA’s oeuvre, as well as identifiers of their distinctive aesthetic.
The length of SIGNA's performances range from 6 hours to 250 hours non-stop. The extreme duration of the work allows the improvisations to develop complex and intricately detailed stories, as well as provide ample time for audience members to acclimate to, and become insinuated in, the machinations of the world being portrayed.
With rare exception, there is no physical boundary between performer and audience in SIGNA performances. The audience is invited to engage with the project as an individual might in daily life- absorbing all visual, aural, and tactile cues in the environment. The sensory design of each project is attended to with extreme detail in order to maximize the immersive experience of the audience. Examples include participating in the preparation and consumption of meals, helping with household duties and hygiene, or engaging physically in rituals played out by the performers.
Some facts about SIGNA
The group has performed in several European countries, including the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Austria and Germany. Only on one occasion have they performed overseas, in Cordoba, Argentina.
The head quarters of SIGNA are located in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 15th floor of an iconic high rise building of the early 1950es
In 2008 SIGNA was selected for the Berliner Theatertreffen with the performance 'Die Erscheinungen der Martha Rubin' as one of the ten most important German speaking productions of the year.
Several animals have had important parts in the performances including dogs, gold fish and parakeets.
Signa Köstler's family is very involved in the work of SIGNA; both her son, her cousin and her father have played in various performances and her brother, mother and uncle have contributed to several other areas of the productions. Arthur Köstler's father modelled for a portrait of the late mayor of Ruby Town.
The former ocupations of the artistical leadership of SIGNA include: hairdresser, barista, stripper, champagne girl, newspaper deliverer, cleaning person, factory worker, stylist and strawberry picker.
SIGNA works independently of any political or religious agendas.