Nightshift, 2014

Performance: 1-1 (10' per session, total: 4 hours)
Exodos, Gelsenkirchen, DE

Nightshift: a private interactive performance in a nightclub.

Permission is granted by the security guard for a maximum of 7 to 8 minutes. You enter into the modified space of a nightclub alone. The hall setting is very classic: dark, atmospheric, with heavy cigarette smell and loud music. The dance stage in the middle yet there is only one table and a chair in the whole space, an aspect that creates a rather intimate zone: it's only you and the performer there. The performer is barefoot, dressed in a black shirt and jeans, dancing on the stage, under a few spotlights.
The arrangement suggests that you sit down and watch this private dance show from there. There is candlelight, a glass of wine, an ashtray and a flower dipped in a short wine glass. You are there to be treated, you are the customer par excellence.

The dancer’s routine for the next hours to come is to give a little private dance show. It is the same track on a loop, and this signifies the time of your session. You may choose to interact, and the same goes for the dancer. What seems to separate the two of you is the underlying notion of dominance. The dancer, in his trance, seems to be offering himself to you almost to a sacrificial extent and this creates an unsettling, almost suffocated context of eroticism and privacy. Then your 7 minutes come to an end. The track starts looping again and the dancer seems to be getting out of trance, shortly, only to approach you and escort you out gently. The next «customer» slot opens up and so on.

The performer, in the course of the night, is the one who gets damaged by the end. A new "customer" is entering every 7 minutes or so, and the dancer is exposed to one unknownperson after another while wearing himself out psychosomatically in the process.

The concept works better without any documentation, for both the viewer and the performer’s original sensation of this private experience.

In the context provided in Bochumer Strasse in Gelsenkirchen, something more unfolds with this performance piece, something undoubtedly political, concerning the relationship of Greece and Germany in the year 2014:

The performer’s Greek origin and the choice of working at «Exodos» dance club (a barely operating Greek dance club).
The music track used («Kollaps», written by 80’s German industrial pioneers Einsturzende Neubauten) and the freeform dance which is heavily influenced by Zeibekiko Greek dance.
The interplay of the idea of the performer about to «collapse» in his marathon dance, linked to a Greece collapsing due to the economical crisis, in contrast to the powerful Germany.

The «Nightshift» in Gelsenkirchen attracted more than 30 viewers in the course of almost 4 hours.