Returning, Berlin Art Week

Photograph by Rodrigo Diaz Diaz

For Berlin Art Week I designed a work that took place underneath the deck of ZKU, in the rubble and rock beneath the art building .  

The work was about giving the body over to a space and an audience.  Constant movement was achieved by letting the space move (me).  I negotiated the terrain, the simultaneous instability and weight of the sand, the unearthing of rusty nails, glass, building materials, and the stench of stale urine against melting wax and evening winds. 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 for five hours on September 20, 2013 from 18h – 23h and four hours the following day, September 21, 2013, from 13h – 17h, I confronted “return” in a literal sense but also in relation to recent and distant memory, recent and distant histories. 

Under the Terrace
As visitors took part in exhibitions and readings by 13 other artists, I performed underneath the Überdachte Terrasse.







The first day of performing ends

“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


– excerpt from “Private Archive” by Stephen Motika