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Observing a house is not art

Theresa Steininger

Always wanted to feel like the rich? Always wanted to see an unbelievably luxurious flat? Anat Eisenberg and Mirko Winkel are going to take you: In their performance „Life and Strive“, which they do until 23rd of October every day at 2pm, you kind of become a wealthy person observing one of the most expensive houses in Istanbul, maybe Europe. They make you pretend that you are interested in buying a 7.8-million-dollar-flat, talking with the sales manager and inspecting the flat. In order not to make sales managers too suspicious, they go to different luxury-towers being built in Istanbul at the moment.

Obviously Eisenberg and Winkel want to show that we are all performers, from the sales manager onwards to ourselves. This piece at one hand shows acting in every day life. But on the other hand it is betrayal in various senses: We come to the meeting point willing to observe, not to be active, what then we have to be. Even more, we all betray the sales manager, part of the game is that during the whole excursion, everybody is often thinking about how he will react and if he will notice. In our case he was very cooperative and if he was suspicious, he did not show. He was friendly until the very end, answered all questions, tried to present the flats in all details. Poor guy, one has to think, making so much effort and maybe assuming that these not very rich looking persons will most likely never come back to him to buy….and still he has to stay in his „performance“.

Still for me the difficult thing about this performance was that is was none. Although it was very interesting to see this building from inside, to enter to this science-fiction- world, which all this seemed to me, to think about questions one could ask in order to come up to the part one has to play, and although it was quite enjoyable to see the view from the highest building of Istanbul, for my maybe too limited definition of art, this wasn´t. But thanks for taking us anyway.

Theresa Steininger

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