Action for Brandenburger Tor. Intervention. Brandenburger Tor. Berlin, 2014
The action addresses the symbolic presence of the monument and its contradiction to the performative ritual of the tourists who come to pay homage. How tourists often perform an idea of tourist, rather than seeking a meaningful personal experience with the city or monument itself. The gaze of their camera becomes an eye that looks without seeing, seeking to merely capture an image of experience that supersedes that of living the experience itself. The intervention considers the monument as a metaphysical being that has been exploited or violated, in a sense. What is at stake is an existential tension between the essence of its historicity and its projected position as object for consumption by the other.
Five performers mirrored the pillars of the Tor. Their arrival and departure happened very slowly and discreetly, one at a time, several minutes apart. They embodied a symbolic character of 'lost' tourist. One who has no past, present or future, and no pre-determined condition or notion of being. Like the public who looks but does not see, the lost tourists were symbolically blind. Their mission was to manifest living image rupture through a subtle, silent interruption that both contradicted and echoed the systematic complicity and patterns of the public ritual. The action was documented with hidden cameras and continued for 4 hours.
Performers: Anna Berndston, Sandra Bozic, Irene Cortina Gonzalez, Irene Pascual, Hanae Utamura
Documentation: Sebastian Bordirsky (video), Marjorie Brunet (photo)