If You Lived Here
Performance/Installation by and with: Tamara Antonijevic, Nora Neuhaus, Robert Läßig, Malgorzata Wdowik
Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main
Wherever objects and bodies are presented as works of art, institutional structures and political mechanisms are also involved. If You Lived Here examines the social and cultural constitution of exhibition and theatre spaces. In what ways do the techniques of black box and white cube differ and when do they coincide? How do we behave as visitors towards these systems, when neither object nor body is present? In what ways do expectations and knowledge, do context and space define our experiences and the production of artistic value? The performative sound installation invites small groups of five people to discover the kind of performance created by space that performs itself.
The light coming from above radiates evenly all over your face.
You stare at the ceiling, which is white and plain, with some cracks in the far right corner, one of them looks as if it could be an inflatable rubber animal from an amusement park, in the shape of a dog, or a rabbit, or chunk of Antarctica flying home. Above your head, a spider web, loosen up on the edges, most of the strains are broken; obviously the whole construction is out of the order. Its maker could be dead for some time. There is a straight bright line, which brakes on the left edge of the ceiling and continues for about 20 centimeters down on the left wall. It cuts the ceiling diagonally in relation 2:1. Its source: a window behind your head. Since you’re lying on the couch, you can’t see it, nor the beige curtain that hides the view. You would need to twist your head up. Instead, you observe the line of light, as it starts waving and moving, influenced by the light wind coming from the outside.
On your right, a 25 inch TV screen, black and dusty, as one always forgets to wipe it. If you touch it, gray and black particles will stay on your finger. You could write your name or make a heart shape line on this black surface, like children do. But for this to be done, you would have to get up. Black, rounded surface is mirroring the whole room, as if you’re in one black snow ball.
The air is dry and heavy from your sleep and the heat that slowly enters the room and starts warming up the old wooden furniture. Accurate dimensions of the space are unknown, it is anyway very narrow and not more than five meters long.
Above your head are two shelves filled with books. The position you’re in allows you to notice that the wooden shelf brackets are loose. They might break any time, which would probably result in some of the books falling on your head. Stuck to the wall beneath the shelf, a postcard with three male models wearing tight underwear with the print of American flag, turned with their defined buttocks, backs and shoulders to the viewer, smiling, above their heads, written in red letters: Greetings from LA!
A big wardrobe across on your right, made from the same type of wood as the shelves and the desk. This could be a cottage house. But it’s not. Sound of traffic jam proves you wrong.
Couch on which you’re lying on is uncomfortable, you can only sleep on the far left or on the far right side, since the middle has a huge bump that gives a back pain. The problem with sleeping far left is that you’re facing the wall and could easily kick your head against it. The problem with sleeping on the far right is that you can easily roll out and fall to the floor, covered with old parquet with many holes that produce the dust particles. These circumstances are giving you a headache.
The line of sunlight is again fixed and perfect and you could also say that it is getting longer and broader. It is definitely later than the noon. You notice that your upper lip tastes of sweat. If you don’t look at the ceiling and the bright line, nor to the floor, that has holes, and you for sure don’t want to look at the black screen covered in dust, the only option are the closed doors, just in front of you. They seem to be solid, although they need some force in order to close properly. This means that they also need a strong push to be opened, and by doing this, deep scratches in the parquet in the shape of a half-moon are becoming more and more visible with the each opening and closing.
The smell of burning onions is coming inside, adding to the heat, dry air, lip sweat and dust particles from the TV screen, that you can feel all over your face and inside your nostrils and throat.
A woman’s laughter disappears around the corner.