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Alexis Blake: Performance “Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve” – KW Institute for Contemporary Art | 27.01.-29.01.2023

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In her multidisciplinary practice, Alexis Blake combines visual art, dance and performance. In an installation of glass and steel in KW’s main hall and using sound, voice and body, the performance explores the meaning and act of breaking.

Fig. above: Alexis Blake, Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve, 2019. TENT, Rotterdam, NL, 2019. Foto: Diana Oliveira

KW Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the performance Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve by artist Alexis Blake (*1981, US, lives in NL). In her multidisciplinary practice, Blake combines visual art, dance and performance. She understands the body as an archive of embodied knowledge and is concerned with the representation of women’s bodies, which she critically examines, questions, breaks open and renegotiates.

Blake conceived Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve back in 2019 and is now developing her piece further for its first presentation in Germany. In it, she explores notions of transparency, resistance, resonance and fragility in relation to norms, constraints and oppression. In an installation of glass and steel and with the help of sound, voice and body, she explores the meaning and act of breaking. The glass takes on a representational role and becomes a metaphor for the individual and collective body, which is fragile but also resilient – depending on how it is handled or treated. Its condition continually oscillates between visible and invisible, clear and opaque.

The Berlin-based crew consists of a percussionist, two sound artists and six performers from different backgrounds – breakdance, hip-hop, house, waving, Afro-fusion, contemporary and ballet. In the choreography, the artists do not try to appropriate each other’s sound and body language. Rather, they use the glass as a tool to communicate with each other, break patterns and develop a new vocabulary of sound and movement together, without losing their own subjectivity.

Artist / choreographer / director: Alexis Blake
Sound artists / composers: Stefanie Egedy, mobilegirl
Percussionist / Composer: Sofia Borges
Costume designer: Elisa van Joolen
Dancers / Choreographic input: Viola Luise Barner, Alice De Maio, Aya Nakagawa, Luana Madikera, Willie Stark, Matilde Tommasini

Curator: Léon Kruijswijk

Curatorial Assistance: Lara Scherrieble

Curatorial Fellow (CCS Bard Mentorship Work Placement): Katherine Adams

Please note that loud low frequency sounds will be played during the performance which may affect pregnant people and those with epilepsy and heart problems. 

Alexis Blake is organising an informal meeting on 2 Feb 23 at 5pm to reflect on the performance with visitors* and crew. The event will take place in the KW studio. Please register in advance at reservation@kw-berlin.de.

Crack Nerve Boogie Swerve is part of the opening weekend of CTM 2023 and tickets can be purchased here.


KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststraße 69
10117 Berlin-Mitte


Friday, 27 – Sunday, 29 January 2023
Fri-Sun, at 3 pm

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