Exit Through Limbo

Exit Through Limbo

Performative Installation
2 hours a day
03-05 until 07-05-2023
Empty Spaces III Project,
Ulmer Höh,
Düsseldorf, Germany

Exit through Limbo is a performative installation that uses the sand sack as a symbol for the last resort in situations of war or natural calamities. This project was presented as part of Empty Spaces III – The dreams are still the same, curated and initiated by Mara Sporn, in the remaining administrative building of the prison Ulmer Höh, in Düsseldorf. 


The installation and supporting structure for the performance of “Exit through Limbo” is spread through- out 2 rooms and pendulates in between to stations. The installation’s first station consists of a U-shape emergency structure, built entirely out of sand sacks. When the performance is not happening, the sand-sack structure has in between the sacks two plaster sculptures, dipped in resin. They resemble the skin or empty shell of torsos with arms.

The sculptures are fitted with solid hands made out of plaster. The second station that can be seen both in during the installative view as well as the performative view is a representation of a recovery bay, where four sands sacks form a bed on the floor. Next to the sacks, a stretcher is placed.
On the wall of the recovery bay, a poem written by Cristiana Cott Negoescu, is painted on.
During the performance, the sand sacks are displaced, the plaster sculptures are taken away and replaced by performers. Everyday, over the course of a week, for 3 hours a day, five performers activate the installation. They first demolish the U-shape. Two of the proceed to placed themselves in the remaining sand structure, facing down. Two other performers place sand sacks over them, thus making them part of the struc- ture. After the building performers finish, a fifth performer comes to destroy the structure, throwing the sand sacks on the floor together with the performers. The destroying performer returns then, to the recovery bay. The building performers pick up one by one the performers from the ground and transport them to the recovery bay. This cycle repeats itself over and over again and the performers change their roles getting to be the ones who destroy, build and are carried, differently for each cycle.

Click on any of the images to enlarge


The sand sack offers immediate support, at the roots of trees going through storms, holding the bullets of the ones attacking, in floods. In many cases, the sand sack is the quickest last resort. Sometimes this last resort can save the day, sometimes, not.

Erected quickly, sand sack constructions, appear and disappear, leaving no marks be- hind.
Sand and humans go back to Earth, or in the wind when their time is up. A sack of sand or a sack of bones can intertwine – ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Sand sacks protect humans from the wrath of nature and humans.

Performers: Eunbi Oh, Emma Rüther, Salmo Albatal, Ana Isabel Behnke Llanos, Lea Frensch, Markus Henschler, and Aljoscha Lahner.


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