KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 30 April 2016
Anna Barham, Auto Italia (Kate Cooper, Marianne Forrest, Andrew Kerton, and Jess Wiesner), Lawrence Lek, Emily Roysdon, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa and Marc Sabat mit Mareike Lee
APP-NOSIS, 2013, Ying Miao, video still. Courtesy of the artist.

Performance programme accompanying the exhibition Secret Surface: Where Meaning Materializes.

This 12-hour rhythm of performances within the exhibition space and throughout the house and courtyard complements the exhibition’s main question: where does meaning materialize? What if live art was likewise superficial – in the best sense of the word?

The program mainly animates a selection of artworks from the exhibition with their makers’ live interpretation, but treats the artist’s presence as yet another surface for reflection and refraction. It aims to literalize the moment of exchange between observer and observed and thus make the exhibition’s questions accessible also through participation. The program stages clashes between seductive, virtual spaces and the physical one, each of which is an interface, or system, for making sense of our surroundings.

The day unfolds following a rhythm that refers to biological rhythms and natural changes of light, which lays shadows and spotlights upon different stage-like settings throughout KW. In the morning, performances and workshops guide interested viewers on further explorations of texts and 3D environments presented in the show. Anna Barham leads The Model (2016), a live production reading group, which processes familiar texts through repeated human performance and digital translation. Lawrence Lek takes over the controls on his virtual tour of a futuristic KW with a live performance of Berlin Mirror (2142 Retrospective), made for the exhibition.

In the afternoon, these are joined by interventions and at times surreal departures from thenworks on view. Auto Italia revisit their 2012 film My Skin is at War With a World of Data by activating the original material through live, but seemingly interchangeable human interactions.

At sunset, Marc Sabat and Mareike Lee present an interpretation of surface and depth in musical and architectural terms, proposing an unfolding and shimmering of sound and light that remains suspended in the reflective cubes of Café Bravo, recast as a membrane.

The evening culminates with an acceleration of performances, spreading to the courtyard and complemented by artist positions outside the exhibition. Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s piece The Print of Sleep (2015/16) concludes the day with a meditative, dreamlike scene that combines printmaking, varied human surfaces and bedtime rituals.

The day’s pacing and spatial arrangement is developed in conversation with artist Emily Roysdon, who proposes subjective stretches and measures of time as part of her performance Uncounted (Performance 7) (2014–ongoing). Roysdon and her
collaborators intermittently perform text excerpts from her numbered and randomized script in KW’s courtyard, a central spot that connects the street with the institution’s various venues.

Schedule for Saturday, 30.4.16:
11:00 h: Anna Barham, The Model,
11:30 h: Auto Italia, My Skin Was at War with a World of Data
12:30 h: Lawrence Lek, Berliner Mirror (2042 Retrospective)
13:30 h: Auto Italia, My Skin Was at War with a World of Data
14:00 h: Anna Barham, The Model, registration required at
15:30 h: Lawrence Lek, Berliner Mirror (2042 Retrospective)
16:00 h: Anna Barham, The Model, registration required at
17:00 h: Auto Italia, My Skin Was at War with a World of Data
19:00 h: Lawrence Lek, Berliner Mirror (2042 Retrospective)
19:30 h: Emily Roysdon, Uncounted (Perforamance 7), featuring Karl Holmqvist, Ligia Lewis, Manuel Pelmus, and Agnieszka Polska
20:00 h Marc Sabat and Mareike Lee, Light Group
21:15 h: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, The Print of Sleep

Curated by Catherine Wood and Adela Yawitz