16 + 17 + 18 March, 7-9 pm
While life in the surrounding city of Berlin is hectic and fast-paced the performance project A Room for Oneself by Irene Accardo and Heini Nukari at Centrum is a means to decelerate and retreat. The performance was developed by the two artists in order to create a space for inner observation and relaxation. A Room for Onself is thus intended as a gift and offer from the performers to the visitors. In the former red light district of Neukölln, instead of paid erotic services, Accardo and Nukari offer a gesture of love and art as a spiritual experience. In Centrum’s exhibition space the voices of the four performers are transmitted through loudspeakers, while the actual performance takes place in the back room, in front of only one spectator at a time. Visitors have to register and wait for their 10-minute individual, private performance. The performance is based on the paradox between intimacy and openness, passive reception and performativity, and creates a modern ritual at the heart of which is not the artist but the individual spectator and which promises them nothing but a moment and a room for themselves.
The title of the performance refers to Virginia Woolf’s famous 1929 essay A Room of One’s Own. In it, Woolf argues that traditionally women, because of their financial dependence on their father and later on their husband, as well as due the fact that they did not have a room in the house or flat to themselves to retreat to and where to work creatively, they did not have the access nor the opportunity to nurture and develop their creative potential for literary or artistic activity. In their performance, Accardo and Nukari take up this idea and extend it by addressing the importance of the role of the intended and actual recipient or addressee at the center of creative work. The reception and interpretation, participation and the goodwill of the audience play an equally important role in the success of their performance, and even more, are its essential presupposition.
Irene Accardo and Heini Nukari since 2011 have been working together on body and voice exchange and improvisations. Heini Nukari has many years of international experience in coaching, conducting and studying the connection between body and voice. In the center of Irene Accardo’s practice are performances and research on how performative gestures affect performers and viewers in relation to time, space and identity. The two Berlin-based performers Maria Ferrara and Julia Ketzmerick support the performance.