Access / Exit
Performance Art / Public Interventions in Berlin and San Francisco
June 2014 - June 2015
Access/Exit was a series of embodied interventions that occurred at, on, and around “public” sculptures. A collaboration with Berlin based visual artist Tanja Knaus, the series confronts the ways female artists access and exit public spaces, art and/as history, memory, authorship, and monumentality.
“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.”
Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 1980
The series began in Berlin with a 90-minute event on the sculpture 13.4.1981 by Olaf Metzel. Commonly referred to as “Randale-denkmal” (riot-memorial), Metzel created this sculpture in 1987 using metal crowd-control barricades. Its title references a violent riot that took place on April 13, 1981. As part of Berlin’s “Sculpture Boulevard,” 13.4.1981 incited new public protests and became a regular meeting site for alternative thinkers and political activists. It was removed from the Sculpture Boulevard by the mayor, who called the sculpture a “pile of junk.” Fourteen years later, the sculpture was privately acquired and re-erected outside of Universal Music Headquarters on Berlin’s MediaSpree.
In the first duet of the series, Access Exit I, Tanja and I insert our bodies into this fraught history. Without permission or announcement, the work explores thresholds of public and private, state and citizen, sculpture and performer, monument and organism. Each subsequent performance in the series grew rhizomatically from the socio-political, historical, and material points of access and exit generated during the first event.
After Access Exit I, the collaboration continued across continents. The duet became solo performances that remained coupled though not co-performed. We edited the live documentation and exchanged 9-minute videos through virtual interfaces. Each new performance continued the conversation. Distance and proximity were collapsed and expanded on screen. The physical and nonphysical web of the work became additional points of access and exit that impacted the collaboration and each live event.
Access Exit I at 13.4.1981 by Olaf Metzel (1987), 90 minutes
June 29, 2014
Access Exit II at Two concrete Cadillacs in form of the naked Maja by Wolf Vostell (1987), 3 hours
August, 1 2014
Access Exit III at Vaillancourt Fountain by Armand Vaillancourt (1971), 3 hours
September 3, 2014
Access Exit IV at Large Divided Oval: Butterfly by Henry Moore (1987), 90 minutes
October 26, 2014
Access Exit V at Endangered Garden by Patricia Johanson (1987), 90 minutes
January 24, 2014
Access Exit VI at Berlin Junction by Richard Serra (1987), 3 hours
May 16, 2105
Access Exit VII at Twin Peaks/Pink Triangle Site (1995), 3 hours
June 7, 2015