She Broke Night – Olek and Performers Inside/Outside UN in Berlin

“Strong individual artistic statements in the streets can create these magical, deeply human moments in your everyday routine and push you out of the frame,” says Sebastian Purfürst. “It’s an alternative and amazingly uncontrollable channel of human to human communication.”


Multi-dimensional artists like the Polish-now-Brooklyn-based OLEK find it difficult to describe their work because they fall into many categories; installation, sculpture, performance, theater. Often they create their own category entirely, unconcerned with labels and dogmatically narrow definitions. Thanks to the elastic quality of her crocheted art materials, you may see people wearing them at official events, at dinners, in a swimming pool, or simply crossing a busy Berlin street on a Friday night.

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

As guests shuttled back and forth across Bülowstrasse to see the shows inside the raw space of the soon-to-be UN museum and the polished gallery space of the UN Project M/12 show, you may have caught one of those Olek moments where her costumed performers traipsed and cavorted along the sidewalks, momentarily distracting attention from the sex workers whose neighborhood this is.

“For me street art has the potential to turn the anonymous, commercial urban space into a walkable, immersive space to think and to feel, provoking new perspectives, ideas and communication,” says photographer Sebastian Purfürst, a Berliner who captured these inside/outside images last week and likens them to Street Art as much as live performance that occupies and activates public space.

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

A video/new media artist and musician whose sound and visual design has appeared in commercial, artistic, theatrical and academic settings Purfürst tells us that he was mesmerized by the immersive spectacle that unfolded and transformed the environment. “Street art has the chance to act and react fast, directly and in a totally unexpected way – literally over night. It’s a direct physically manifested response to a world.”

The warmth of the spring night made their languorous limbs entangle as the Olek performers  danced, posed, capered and marched, silently interacting with traffic and passersby, their creator strolling languidly among them in an impossible corset and red-rimmed round glasses.

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

“Strong individual artistic statements in the streets can create these magical, deeply human moments in your everyday routine and push you out of the frame,” says Sebastian. “It’s an alternative and amazingly uncontrollable channel of human to human communication.”

They were just a few moments to experience, and we’re glad Purfürst captured them. The images are full of energy and an insouciant charge of electricity and blood and flesh elevating the senses, street ephemera that wafts into you, through you, past you.

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

Performers are:

Hugo Bailly
Kevin Bright
Mila Bollansee
Carla Cixì
Aleksandra Szkopek
and Olek

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

Olek. We Broke Night. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Sebastian M. Purfürst | Lem-studios.com)

 


 

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