Berlin Coldstore

Checkpoint, Berlin, Coldstore, Kuehlhaus am Gleisdreieck, Berlin, 2007

Invited to take part in the collaborative exhibition Coldstore by Factory Berlin, Germany & Luna Nera, London.

A site-specific performance piece drawing on the history of the former cold-storage building,  erected in 1898 as one of the two first cold storages in Germany, following British models.  The eerie brutality of the building’s past mirrored the absurdity and absence/negation and realities of Germany’s past regime and Berlin’s division and turbulent former segregation.

Checkpoint is assembled out of discarded cardboard and hinges on inquisitiveness of the visitor who seeks the extra-ordinary in the corner of an old slaughterhouse. An intimate physical interior places me extremely close to the perpetrator entering the enclosure; a game of trust. He/she is instructed to follow a series of instructions; answering according to the spin of a wheel which directs their choice of interrogation and ensuing answer. This directly tails a severe slap or kiss. The sanity in this democracy is reciprocal, unexpectedly as seer/savant also delivers me a  vicious slap or sharp kiss. Paying 50 cents, one on one lasts two minutes, an hour … some visitors enthralled,  ‘enlightened’, ‘less lonely’, ‘content’, ‘in pain’- Checkpoint was a chance to expose, remember, redeem and gives as good as life’s often nonsensical harsh ruling hand.

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Supported by Factory Berlin, Berlin