Architectural installation for performance to Michael Portnoy at dOCUMANTA (13), Kulturbahnhof Kassel Germany, February — June 2012


Performance art should be experienced in a new architectural typology. Unlike theater, performance art can happen outside the black box, it also doesn’t need the white cube of an art gallery. Performance art can happen anywhere but its context always plays an important role; ideally this context becomes part of the performance. Our architectural installation for the performance of Michael Portnoy at dOCUMANTA (13) is an attempt to create such a place; it can bee seen as a combination of a volcano, laboratory, playground, and amphitheater with a stage shaped as a sphere and much more.

Upon climbing the stairs and stepping over the edge of the crater the visitor agrees to become part of a new experience. At the bottom of the ladder on the inside one reaches the stage. Only by holding on to the backwards-leaning wall or by leaping forward, crossing the center of the stage one can move through this space with uneven floor. Once the desired location is reached one can lean comfortably against the tilted wall while keeping the feet in their standing natural position, perpendicular to the upper body. Like Portnoy’s game show performance the architecture engages with the audience in an intermediate and physical way. 

Despite the seemingly chaotic nature of this installation it followed the simple geometric rules of a sphere within a sphere, intersecting with a cone. The outside of the mud mound is a 120° fraction or the tip of a 14,88 m sphere, the glossy stage on the inside has a 4,87 m radius measured from the center of both spheres and the cone opens up to a 60° wide funnel.


Project Team: Adrian Madlener, Gunhild Buskov Romme, Peter Dumbadze
Construction: Knut Krupp, Abrell & van den Berg, Ausstellungsservice GbR, Berlin

Materials: Mud, wood, concrete, mother-of-pearl, paint, lamps
Performers: Ieva Misevičiūtė, Johnnie Moore, Michael Portnoy 
Notognosis suits: threeASFOUR
The white carrot: Nasomatto

Commissioned and produced: dOCUMENTA (13)

See also: strangergames.com

The Kitchen, Michael Portnoy: 27 Gnosis 
Chelsea, NYC, March 6 - 11, 2013
The second iteration of the design for Portnoy’s performance, 27 Gnosis took place at The Kitchen in Chelsea NY. 

Project Team: Sofia Pia Belenky, Joana Bem-Haja, Zach Cohen, Jason Gates, Michael Montante



27 Gnosis - dOCUMANTA (13)