Action: The audience enters a space in order to encounter an installation of six Nike gym bags nailed onto the wall, at the height of a person’s shoulders, three on each side in ascending order. The artist arrives and takes a position at the installation’s center, with his back facing the audience. After a brief period of stillness, the artist reaches into his pocket and takes out a black marker. Extending his right arm, the artist turns around and walks towards audience members. He then encounters all members individually, staring at a person’s body parts top to bottom. Once his gaze inspection is complete, the artist kneels in front of a person’s feet and either marks a black 'tick' onto the floor, or does nothing and moves on to the next person. According to an 'unknown' value system set up by the artist, all audience members have been inspected and a set of black check marks covers the gallery’s floor space. The artist then returns at the wall installation, inspects himself with his gaze, and draws a check mark at his own feet. By unzipping each gym bag, he reveals their elongated bag handles, and places all of them over his shoulders, three on each side. Once connected to the wall installation, the artist attempts to step forward, and finally allows for his body weight to fall onto the bag handles, raising both arms towards the audience. In an effort to release himself, the handles rub along the artist’s arms, as he declines towards the floor. When the handles have reached his palms, the artist has reached the lowest body position he can assume, before touching the floor. With his chest directly facing down, the artist finally releases his hands and abruptly hits the floor, before standing up and exiting the exhibition’s space.
Niki (Training for performance #9)
Performance / Part of event "PLUS-MOTION" organised by Sensorium Space / Point Centre for Contemporary Art / Nicosia - CY / September - 2016 / Duration: 30'
Material: artist’s body, black marker, 6 Nike gym bags, audience members
Photo: Pavlos Vrionides