While life in the city of Berlin is hectic and fast-paced, the performance project "A Room for Oneself" by Irene Accardo and Heini Nukari at Centrum is a means to decelerate and retreat. The performance was developed by the two artists in order to create a space for inner observation and relaxation and is intended as a gift and offer from the performers to the visitors. In the former red light district of Neukölln, instead of paid erotic services, Accardo and Nukari offer a gesture of love and art as a spiritual experience. Visitors have to register and wait for their 10-minute individual, private performance. The performance is based on the paradox between intimacy and openness, passive reception and performativity, and creates a modern ritual at the centre of which is not the artist but the individual spectator and which promises them nothing but a moment and a room for themselves.
The title of the performance refers to Virginia Woolf's famous 1929 essay "A Room of One's Own." In it, Woolf argues that traditionally women, because of financial dependence as well as due the fact that they did not have a room in the house or flat to themselves to retreat to and where to work creatively, they did not have the access nor the opportunity to develop their creative potential. In their performance, Accardo and Nukari take up this idea and extend it to the importance of the intended and actual recipient or addressee at the heart of creative work.
Irene Accardo and Heini Nukari since 2011 have been working together on body and voice exchange and improvisations. Nukari has many years of international experience in coaching, conducting and studying the connection between body and voice. In the center of Accardo's practice are performances and research on how performative gestures affect performers and viewers in relation to time, space and identity. The two Berlin-based performers Maria Ferrara and Julia Ketzmerick support the performance.