A small house growing from within

developed and performed by Mareike Nele Dobewall and Ylva Owren at Performance art Bergen, 2013


Imprisonment is a penalty that a state may impose on a person for the commission of a crime. This is to protect society of the criminal and to punish the wrong-doer. Solitary imprisonment is sometimes also imposed in order to protect one inmate from another. The harsh reality of imprisonment and the abuse of this institution for political reasons are very complex. We asked ourselves how we can relate to this topic. Are there bars in our lives holding us from the real life, protecting us from an interaction with other people, maybe even punishing us without our knowledge? We were here specifically interested in the change of perception and actions that a limited space creates.


We explored these questions by placing a contrasting image into a grim prison cell. During a long-durational performance we, dressed-up in wallpaper-dresses, built a charming smaller-than-life house that was barely big enough to fit us. During the performance we did not speak. We created an atmosphere of non-existence of time.


Photos of "A small house growing from within" by Ann Mirjam Vaikla