When you enter the room you may not realize what you have just walked into. Visually, there is a large, high ceiling, concrete room with nothing except a crème spiral staircase in the middle. The staircase takes you up to another level, but you cannot see where it leads until you climb the stairs yourself.
It’s an experience- a challenge or perhaps an annoyance. The stairs lead to a tiny space. Most people have to hunch over to walk through the room and will eventually sit down to find comfort. It is a simple space. There is nothing but a pink carpet, speakers, and a bench that wraps around the perimeter. Luckily, there are windows so it does not create a sense of claustrophobia.
It is an experience- one that involves a single female voice. It asks the audience to become active participants, but only within themselves. There is no talking amongst the participants. Only listening followed by personal inner dialogs. What starts as a meditative experience becomes intrusive. The voice speeds up, and it is repetitive. Although it doesn’t leave much time for the answers it pushes for progress.
There are no labels, drinking and eating are not permitted, conversations come to a halt and there are minimal visuals. There is minimal distraction, and there is self-contemplation. It’s true significance is that Lippard’s piece does not end once you decent the crème spiral staircase.
Photo credit is given to http://studioviolet.org/flesh/
For further information on the Lippard and Flesh:
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Sadly, I am posting this review a bit late and Lippard’s Flesh is no longer on display at KW. So for those who live in Berlin, I am sorry for that! However, Lippard lives here in Berlin and, therefore, her art/exhibitions are easy to follow.