about me

Laura Koerfer (*1985) is an artist and freelance theater director based in Zurich.

She studied philosophy and theater, film and media studies at the University of Vienna and completed her Master of Performing Arts in Theater Directing at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her work was shown amongst others at Theater Neumarkt (Magic Afternoon  by Wolfgang Bauer, Faustrecht der Freiheit by Rainer Werner FassbinderMiss Sara Sampson by G. E. LessingWERTHER. Gesang an die Nacht, Gebrüll gegen Kummer by Goethe with Roland BarthesMetamorphosen by Ovid). 

In 2019 Koerfer founded the theater Hyperlokal and managed it till the end of 2022.

She is currently working on a new thing - Turntable Theater.

Revolving stages are like watches; they play with time.

Just looking at a revolving stage, looking at the rotation, the coming and going, the old passing and the new unfolding, I am slowly transported into a different state of mind. It’s a state close to daydreaming or this precious moment when laying in bed in the morning one is still half-asleep, but half awake. I am in a reflective mode, but build different thought bridges and deviate from my hardwired thought patterns. I can literally look at things from another perspective and expand my thinking and my feeling.

Working with revolving stages allows me to artificially create a similar state of mind where thoughts move more like waves and I am letting myself be moved by what is in front of me.

I love this story by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan: One of his methods was to shout at his patient 5 minutes into the therapy session and then ask them to leave. The patients suddenly had 55 minutes truly to themselves. They finally had time. It was reported that creating that unexpected space of time and reflection was Lacan’s goal.

I am looking for a similar experience. An artform that creates time. And the space to wander the mind. Why not meditate? It’s not the same. You have other thoughts in a group. This experience needs the collective.

I call it Turntable Theater as the revolving stage forms the heart of it all. The setting is always the same. The audience sits in a circle around a revolving stage.

Sitting in a circle is part of our DNA. We sat in circles around fires for hundreds of thousands of years. We form drum circles, dance circles, justice circles, reading circles, meditation circles, moon circles, creativity circles, women’s circles, entrepreneurs’ circles, and the list goes on. Circles allow everyone to be seen. It’s a visual example of inclusion. And circles slow down the mind. Most people are suffering from anxiety and overtaxed nervous systems, bombarded with a constant stream of bad news, fear-based media, emails, texts. Sitting in circle with others can help us unwind and reconnect. To me it’s essential that the audience sits around the stage and forms a body of its own, holding the space.

What changes in every piece of Turntable Theater is the topic. I choose a theme close to my heart. An issue that follows me, that moves me and that shows up in public discourse. I am particularly interested in taboos, in hidden feelings, such as shame, guilt, pleasure and madness. I assemble material from my own biography, from books but also from Youtube. There I find bits and pieces of things that have already been said on the topic. That’s my audio text. I create a layer of spoken text and weave it together with music; I project text on walls; I carve words into objects, onto fabric. There are no actors speaking on stage, but the text is there coming from different sources. For the audience the topic is happening in the background; it just gives food for thought, a direction. Music and text form the second body of the Turntable Theater.

And then I create images that change over the course of the performance. I am searching for images that have the quality of looking at a fire. Or when you lay on the ground and look up into the sky seeing clouds forming and transforming. From my experience hearing adds much more to our imagination than seeing. So in order to support that imagination, I ask myself: What do I need to create as a scenery on stage, so that the ears can truly listen? We need to train our imagination, it is what makes us happy. But it is also what allows one to challenge ones hardwired believe system. And prompting imagination is really what art can do.

Contact: E-Mail