Photo: Paw Petersen
Twinlife Project (2001-2002)
The Twinlife Project was comprised of four performance installations by Signa Sørensen between September 2001 and October 2002 at various locations throughout Copenhagen. Each of the performances documented the life and illness of Nika Zabrisky, her twin sister, and the various relationships surrounding the pair. In September of 2001, Twinlife introduced Nika to the public with a 7 day non-stop installation which allowed visitors to explore and interact with Nika and her entourage, as well as explore their living quarters. From sharing intimate tales to participating in mundane daily tasks, the audience became insinuated in the story of Nika’s life and failing health.
Following Twinlife, Sørensen created the second installation of the Twinlife Project in November 2001, entitled Why Baby Hospital. Set in the middle of a techno rave, Why Baby Hospital was conceived as a representation of Nika’s recurring nightmares during her hospitalization. By abandoning the narrative blueprints of Twinlife in favor of an immersive abstraction of her experience and imagination, Why Baby Hospital communicated the doom, sickness, and possible death of Nika in stark contrast to the reveling partygoers.
The third installment of the Twinlife Project was Konwaliowa Cutie Doll, performed for two nights in March 2002. Portraying a partially conscious and increasingly ill Nika, the perspective of the Twinlife Project shifted towards personal history and nostalgia with Konwaliowa Cutie Doll. Surrounding Nika’s suffering body, audience members encountered and visited with the locations, persons and objects of Nika’s life: a butcher shop in Warsaw, her mother’s kitchen, and possessions that pointed to the details of her fragmented past.
In October 2002, The Twinlife Project culminated in a 250 hour nonstop performance in an abandoned industrial space entitled Nika is Dead. The performance revolved around the staged death and resurrection of Nika, perceived in turns to be a mystery or a requiem in memory of her life. Nika is Dead incorporated various forms of media within the performane, as well as photography and layered relics from the project. Guests were free to journey through the installation as they wished, from observing at a distance to sharing meals with the performers and sleeping in the space alongside them.
The Twinlife Project developed concepts that have become significant to the structure of SIGNA’s current work. The disintegration of boundaries between the audience and performers, as well as the experimentation with extreme durational improvisation allows for SIGNA’s performances to affect and reflect the audience’s subject positions while providing a complex and lush landscape for performers to play in.