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Anna Witt: Soft Destructions

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German artist Anna Witt is interested in the construction of cultural stereotypes and the place of the individual within social systems. Experimental and performative art forms are essential to her art making. She often works collaboratively, and is particularly interested in forms of care work, and the divergence of social connectivity and detachment. Taking the form of performances, public interventions, and video installations, her works seek to playfully enable communal interaction. To this end, she is as interested in non-verbal forms of communication, such as sound, gesture, and movement, as she is in verbal. In her view, it is these more marginalized and sensorial registers that may offer new definitions of our communal existence.

For 84 STEPS, Witt presents a newly commissioned site-specific installation set to become a stage for live ASMR performances. The term ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) refers to a physical reaction comprised of a pleasant tingling sensation which many people find soothing. It became popular in social media, eventually developing into a community phenomenon in 2010, primarily on YouTube. Mutual care and emotional closeness are the cornerstones of this community, as users share and watch videos to help relieve stress, anxiety, or sleeping disorders, most commonly. The live sound-performances will focus on the auditory and sensory effects of gentle, destructive actions towards the objects spread within the gallery, that make up the installation. The physical debris will remain and accumulate within the space, thereby constantly changing it over the course of the exhibition.

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