The Agency
bangaloREsidents@Sandbox Collective

Magdalena Emmerig © Andy Kassier

Magdalena Emmerig, born in 1988, studied stage and costume design at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee and lives in Berlin.
Yana Thönnes © Andy Kassier

Yana Thönnes, born in 1990, studied philosophy and cultural studies at the University of Witten/Herdecke and theatre direction at the University of Music and Theater Hamburg. She lives in Munich.

In 2015, Magdalena Emmerig and Yana Thönnes founded together with Belle Santos and Rahel Spöhrer the performance company THE AGENCY which experiments in an immersive way with the manifestations of neoliberalism.

Their performances, in which viewers are gently involved as customers or future members, revolve around subversive options of agency under the conditions of the post-digital: How are our desires, our feelings, our identities and political movements formed in the post-digital age? And how is it possible under these conditions to create counter-emotions, counter-identities, counter-movements? The artistic works take on neoliberal connotations of formats (such as coaching) and their aesthetic strategies such as branding and corporate identity, overturn the institutionalised technologies of the self in a critically affirmative way - and struggle for a utopian potential from a queer-feminist perspective.

Their work was shown at the Münchner Kammerspiele, the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Gessnerallee Zürich, Sophiensaele Berlin, Kaserne Basel, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Pact Zollverein and the Athens Biennale 2018.

Currently, THE AGENCY is working on the development of their work series Neue Männer * Bewegung, in which they investigate the connections between patriarchal masculinity and far right thinking to create a countermovement.

During the bangaloREsidency at Sandbox Magdalena and Yana will do research for an upcoming work of The Agency. They are interested in surrogacy as a phenomenon that on the one hand enables queer family planning and on the other hand reenforces global hierarchies. They are interested in the history as well as the current situation of commercial surrogacy in India, whose little regulated legal situation made the country one of the leading providers of all kinds of fertility services for an international market from 2002 to 2015. They also examine the Western view of India with regard to spiritual tourism, which has
always shaped the relationship between Germany and India.

Final Report