9th Berlin Biennale presents:
Level Five by Brody Condon
17-18 September 2016
Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4
Brody Condon’s Level Five (2010–ongoing) is a live action role playing (LARP) event that investigates the ideological legacy of controversial large group self-actualization seminars from the 1970s in America. Taking place over a weekend, Level Five invites one hundred participants, led by a trained seminar leader and assistants, to arrive in character and immerse themselves in an intensive program organized by the artist comprising of lectures, physical processes and rites of sharing.
These seminars were large, emotionally intense sessions that attracted thousands of participants, who hoped to unlearn societal constraints and achieve personal transformation. Instead of achieving social progress through group and social (de)organization—as filmmaker Adam Curtis has written—the unwitting result was the belief that happiness could be achieved without others, that “society was irrelevant.” In a moment dominated by marketing and megacorporate regimes on the one hand, and the expectation of hyper-individuated personal growth practices on the other, the work is a social experiment staging the tension between individuation and contemporary large-scale alienation.
Level Five is a commission by the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art and will be held across from Brandenberg Gate in the performance space at one of the main venues of the Biennale, the Akademie der Künste, a historical site sheathed in a large glass building.
To participate in the performance go to: