96 hours Trapped in Freedom

Standing in Yvonne Andreini’s temporary room at Espace Surplus with another viewer I don’t know how she does it! With the 3 of us in the room it feels crowded, yet she goes on unselfconsciously creating! She doesn’t seem distracted by us being there. I think I feel more awkward than she does! She seems relaxed and concentrated, I wanted to speak to her but I didn’t want to distract her! I imagine it would be very hard to create when being watched but Andreini said that it doesn’t disturb her concentration when people watch, just when they want to talk. Every artist has their own zone, a state of mind in which they work best, this is not for the easily distracted…..!

The Bare Necessities

Despite the pressure to paint and the pressure of the ticking-time bomb set at 96 hours, there is something relaxing about the room, something calm. This doesn’t feel like the forced situation it is! Andreini doesn’t feel trapped or pressured in here, but freer than in everyday life when she is constantly on the go. This is a simplified life without outside pressures. She has her walls, her paintbrushes, her mind and her bed! With less to think about and less demands from the outside world it seems like a kind of haven.

The chance to watch an artist at work is appealing. It is almost like she is revealing to us her thought process and it’s relaxing to watch this creativity in action. It also raises questions about the artist and her work. How much is she affected by her surroundings? Does our presence affect what she draws or how she draws?

Into the Chaos

 After leaving Espace Surplus for Oranienburger Strasse I headed to “espresso-ambulanz” for a much needed coffee at the end of the work-day! Here from the window I noticed the contrast of the noise and bustle of this street to the calm of the almost hidden room of Yvonne Andreini, which was striking! But it felt good to know that I can come and go when I want to, free as a bird!


  • Espace Surplus, “Yvonne Andreini – 96 Hour Drawing Performance”, January 21st – 25th 2012, Wed-Sat: 11am – 5 pm and by appointment.