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Behind the walls

Performance, 14 Hours

Saarbrücken, 2021


Much of the violence perpetrated in Saydnaya prison, a few kilometers north of Damas-cus, is acoustic: prisoners are forced to remain silent in pain. But in this prison, all the sounds of torture can be heard through the prison's infrastruc-ture. They circulate in all the rooms through air ducts, water pipes, and through the porous walls. Hearing becomes an instrument of surveillance and torture.

Who has the right to speak and who is forced to remain silent? What can be heard and what cannot?

In this performance, the artist held her self in a smal room that is located exactly next to the gallery room during the whole exhibition days. Only one visitor was allowed to be in the room and should stay for exactly 10 minutes. As the visitor enters the room, they encounter an atmosphere of mystery and unease. There are no visual indications of the performance, and it is only upon entering that the subtle sounds of the artist's presence begin to permeate the space. The visitor is enveloped in an auditory experience.

Visitors may come and go without even realizing the presence of the performance. The anonymity and lack of overt spectacle serve to deepen the sense of unease and invite introspection. Each participant's experience is unique, as their interpretation of the sounds and their response to the invisible presence of the artist shape the emotional landscape of the performance.

Photos by Mirco Kanthak

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