The Back House 3rd Floor

Have you ever been walking down the street and started to feel as if you are inside a movie set? The dappled light cast through the leaves plays with brightness and contrast levels; the characters you meet seem too fantastical to be true. The music that seeps out into the dusty air from the cafe you pass by and the rhythm just happens to fit perfectly with each step. Even if these be the work of chance, I know that I have definitely seen myself in an imaginary film for those few minutes.

Here in a Berlin apartment, Sergio Zevallos has invited 8 participants to live their lives as a character from a movie for two weeks as part of Fictive Days. These characters range from Queen Elizabeth to Diane Arbus, to the more fantastical and strange Princess Aura (Flash Gordon) and Reagan from the Exorcist. Imagine them sitting round the table eating spaghetti bolognaise, or lounging on the sofa with a cup of tea having a chat about the weather. What mystifying yet intriguing scene to behold! Here in this apartment, these characters are to treat their everyday actions as if it were a scene. Video equipment is at hand for whenever they feel like documenting these scenes, which will then be edited together into a final film.

As I spoke to Zorba the Greek at the New Life Berlin opening party, he revealed that he had previously become obsessed with Alexis Zorbas, and had progressed further and further into connecting with the character. Over time, he became more like Zorba – he began to live his life within this character and ended up hurting people. It made me wonder why this young man would want to recreate the life that had caused him such trouble. How will he feel at the end of the project, after being Zorba for two weeks?

It is up to the participants whether they want to welcome visitors. They can choose whether or not to let you into their fantasy world. Will your presence be accepted, and will it fit in with the way the future of their life/movie evolves? You will just have to go and knock on their door, day or night, to find out.

Alexandria Clark is a freelance writer and artist based in the UK, and is also a member of the Nottingham based artist group TETHER.

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This text was developed as part of the Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin critical writing initiative

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