An old factory, resembling a spaceship in the galaxy, discovered by two different people, who face up to live in it or to reactivate it:
A woman tries to move into the space, while a man, a previous workman of the factory comes back again and again to his old workplace, which he can’t face to leave behind. He has adapted weird habits of simulating long known work related movements; he cannot free himself from doing so. He still walks his rounds. Unaware of the woman that tries to change the space into her living quarters, he interferes with her desperate attempts. She starts to feel his presence, hears the noises he makes, until she gets a restless and troubled person herself that strides up and down the old factory like a ghost of a time long past.

DO I BELONG discusses how an artist orientates her/himself in a particular environment, perhaps even feeling to be out of place. In AIPs general context of examining spatial conditions, the environment’s particular socio-cultural relevance and impact on the individual, this work states a confrontation with a space within a space and its various levels. Two artists (without meaning to face each other consciously) respond to a situation of improvisational performance, in which they are not quite sure at first, what they really should do or how they should occupy the space. The performers are asked to simply face their emotions, which should mainly direct their individual expression.

They both appear to take control of the same space but still seem to live in their own worlds of a different time. They are left to confront themselves with their very own existence, without any security; left alone in a universe, which states to be as well their home.

This collaborative performance with Vena Naskrecka was filmed in an old factory in Winterthur, Switzerland, presently used as an undercover car park. Bello and Vena met at the Perform Now Festival in October 2013. The performance was decidedly a spontaneously accomplished act and fits within the Existence Theatre’s analytic corner.

It demonstrates yet another act of investigating how we make a place our home and how the environment that surrounds us influences our way of being.

This work could easily be linked to Identical City (2005), Seafactory (2007) and Cloned City (2010) – addressing the power of anonymity in man-made buildings/constructions – while in Do I Belong the deliberate employment of the performative act means to uncover people’s actual presence within such surroundings.

Text by elisabeth m eitelberger

Performance by Vena Naskrecka and bello benischauer

  • Display of the Video/sound installation: HD-video on big screen – black room with Sound System over Blu-ray, room dimensions variable

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