The present is the result of the past. All aspects of history significantly influence the current situation, although if forgotten, concealed or even denied, they are part of history and thus inherent in the present situation. This site-specific work reflects on this interrelationship.
My body lies at the bottom of Berlin Humbolthain flak tower, a relic from World War II, which today serves mainly as recreational area, completely covered with red cloth. Red threads are placed on the floor all around the building, starting at different entrance points and ending at my body.
High bunkers like this existed only in Nazi Germany, serving as a shelter, but primarily where built for the purpose of representing power. As most Nazi architectures, this was constructed under massive involvement of forced labourers, most of them were jewish, foreigners and queer people. Due to its position next to train tracks, this specific bunker unlike most of their kind could not be demolished. The piece alludes to the victims of this part of history, those people forced to construct this building, as well as slavery in general terms and the very fact that this is still common practice, worldwide.
The shape of a covered body addresses death rites such as wrapping corpses with a shroud and mummification, or, a body bag. I deliberately use this technique to create a simple image of a human body or corps, representation of all slaves, beyond connotations and categorizations respect to ethnicity, gender, belief systems etc. The colour red illustrates seriousness of the context and bloodshed, whereas the treads represent the entanglement of the current situation with the past.
Performances for Equinox: Day of Public Actions, The Association for Performance Art Berlin 2018
Photography: Silvia Maggi.