No Exit

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No Exit, 2011, HD video, 05:08 min, color, sound
A collaboration between Shahram Entekhabi and Vox Nostra

The project No Exit is a collaboration between the artist Shahram Entekhabi and Vox Nostra. The Project was first realized in the Zionskirche in Berlin in 2010, and was documented by two cameras. Both Shahram Entekhabi and Vox Nostra are active protagonists in the performance intervention. The action is comprised of Entekhabi´s work with red and white caution tape, which he has used in diverse video performances and interventions. Vox Nostra is involved in the action, by singsing liturgical music of medieval Mass and Liturgy of the Hours, while its members perform symbolic actions far beyond the choreography of a typical concert situation.

Entekhabi erects a wall-like ‚architecture’ by running caution tape back and forth between two fixed points inside the church. An ephemeral barrier is created in the space, thereby evoking the tradition of the chancel or the Iconostasis of the Orthodox Church, in which the sacred space is divided from the public space. At the same time, the work with caution tape stands specifically in relation to Entekhabi’s gesamtwerk. He utilized the caution tape in various video performances, (see for example „Caution“, 2005) to cordon off territories in public space, which he then used for himself. He also used the tape as a construction material for the so-called “parasitic architecture“, with which he developed informal extensions of standing museum architecture. He recently employed the tape for interactions with the audience, using the tape to tie observers together, to hinder their movement, or to cover their eyes. The material is always related to the activities of a „migratory aesthetic“, thematising the process of inclusion and exclusion, both in the art business as well as in a societal context.

VOX NOSTRA is an international vocal ensemble based in Berlin, specializing in the interpretation of the earliest surviving compositions from the cultural centres of Europe. The core repertory of the ensemble, liturgical music intended for use in the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours of the Catholic Church, has an intrinsic relation to the concept of time. The music of the Mass was intended to accompany movements through space, as well as the liturgical actions of the clergy. The music is structured to be flexible according to the time needed for the procession or rituals action. The Liturgy of the Hours, performed seven times daily, marks and structures the monastic day through prayer.

While singing, the singers of Vox Nostra take part in every day ritualized activities referring to the act of waiting. The action implies the painful separation of man from God/Religion/Church. Reaching its climax in the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach, changing the creation Myth into its opposite, Man created God after his image. The stylized act of waiting thematises the uninterrupted search for hope and for salvation.

Camera Kristina Paustian, Anton Werner

Sound: Artem Besukladnikov

Zionskirche, Berlin, German