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


Performance art invites a new architectural typology. Because performance art can happen anywhere, its context always plays an important role and ideally becomes part of the art. The architectural installation for the performance of Michael Portnoy at dOCUMENTA (13) was an attempt to create such a place – a combination volcano, laboratory, playground, and amphitheater (with a stage shaped as a sphere).

By climbing the stairs and stepping over the edge of the crater, the visitor agreed to become part of a new experience. The ladder on the inside led to the stage. Only by holding on to the backwards-leaning wall or by leaping forward and crossing the center of the stage could the visitor move through this space with its uptilted floor. After finding a place from which to watch the performance, viewers could lean comfortably against the leaning wall with their feet in their natural standing position. Like Portnoy’s game show performance, the architecture engaged 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 was a 120° fraction, or the tip, of a 14.88-meter sphere; the glossy stage on the inside had a 4.87-meter radius, measured from the center of both spheres; and the cone opened 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 - dOCUMENTA (13)