miteinander warm werden

[German for warming one another, fig. to become friendly with each other]

two strangers


centred on the pavement

cheek to cheek

in silence, for a while

At the beginning of wintertime, between the end of October and early December 2019, katharinajej approaches people previously unknown to her, in order to warm one another on the streets of Cologne. Together with her unkown counterpart, she takes a physically close stance. In silence, they freeze and pause to warm each other in this position for a while. Morphing into living sculpture among the city's everyday-life, becoming a symbol of kindness and, ultimately, familiarity between strangers.

Amidst the ever-anonymous hustle and bustle of the Cologne city quarters Ehrenfeld, Deutz, Südstadt, Eigelstein, Mülheim, Innenstadt, Nippes or Kalk, katharinajej conjures physical contact with strangers. Roaming the streets, randomly stepping up to people until she encounters someone who is also willing to return warmth to her, for instance cheek upon cheek in an invite to remain and share the moment in the middle of the pavement. The intense sensation of closeness in persisting touch soon transforms the unknown into familiarity and enables an experience of feeling fundamentally human. This encounter takes place right before other pedestrians' eyes. A sign that is placed next to the scene informs them about what is happening.

In February 2020 images of the Performance are bill-sticked in Cologne`s public space. Like that the moments of encounter return to the city.

Supported by

Feedback of participants of the Performance

Pictures of the Performance by Almut Elhardt

Posters in the city of Cologne