duration: 5 hours

location: ZK/U, Berlin Art Week

materials: candles, hot wax, microphone

September 20, 2013 from 6pm - 11pm

September 21, 2013 from 1pm - 6pm

Return took place underneath the deck of ZK/U during Berlin Art Week. As visitors took part in exhibitions and readings by 13 other artists, I was performing in the rubble and rock beneath the art building.  Sounds from the performance played through the speakers of the upstairs bar.

The choreographic focus was to let the space move me. I negotiated the terrain, the instability of the sand, the unearthing of rusty nails, glass, building materials, and the stench of stale urine mixed with melting wax and the evening wind. Sometimes I was completely alone but could hear voices and footsteps above me.  Other times crowds of people surrounded me.  Some sat on the steps, keeping their distance, others came close enough to touch me. 

Performing twice, "return" was confronted in a literal sense and in relation to recent and distant memories and histories.

Audience Response – Excerpt from "Private Archive” by poet Stephen Motika

cap of odor phenomenal

scent seeded-pulp


The politics of durational performance: did you sleep the night in the sand box? There was no sleep, no night either. A denial of light’s prism. The fragility of artists, cantankerous and flagellating, insistent on explaining, not as self-effacing policy, but as some antidote to the rigors of capitalist society. Cool, majestically airless, a reservoir of want.

self-mission alyssum prairied