This 12-hour rhythm of performances within KW’s exhibition space and throughout the house and courtyard complemented the exhibition, Secret Surface, Where Meaning Materializes, main question: where does meaning materialize? What if live art was likewise superficial—in the best sense of the word?
The program mainly animated a selection of artworks from the exhibition with their makers’ live interpretation, but treated the artist’s presence as yet another surface for reflection and refraction. It aimed to literalize the moment of exchange between observers and observed and thus made the exhibition’s questions accessible also through participation. The program staged 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 unfolded 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 guided interested viewers on further explorations of texts and 3D environments presented in the show. Anna Barham lead The Model (2016), a live production reading group, which processes familiar texts through repeated human performance and digital translation. Lawrence Lek took over the controls on his virtual tour of a futuristic KW with a live performance of Berlin Mirror (2042 Retrospective), made for the exhibition.
In the afternoon, these were joined by interventions and at times surreal departures from then works on view. Auto Italia revisited 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 presented 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 culminated 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 (2016) concluded the day with a meditative, dreamlike scene that combines printmaking, varied human surfaces and bedtime rituals.
The day’s pacing and spatial arrangement was 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 performed 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.