No exit Rotterdam

No Exit

An artistic collaboration between Shahram Entekhabi and vocal ensemble VOX NOSTRA

No Exit thematises the process of inclusion and exclusion. 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. The vocal ensemble VOX NOSTRA from Berlin is involved in the action by singing 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 fixed points inside a church or another location. An ephemeral barrier is created in the space, thereby evoking the tradition of the chancel screen in medieval churches 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 and clerical context.

VOX NOSTRA is an ensemble, 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 members of VOX NOSTRA take part in every day ritualised activities referring to the acts of walking and reflecting. Like medieval monks and nuns they dissapear gradually behind a modern screen of red-white caution tape and are invisible for the audience. What remains is the archaic sound of the Middle Ages and a new artistic form of the traditional chancel screens.