rock to jolt [
] stagger to ash

Alexis Blake emphasizes the emancipatory power of voicing deep emotions in an uncensored and uncontrolled way. She explores the outlawing by the ancient Greeks on woman’s lamentation: cathartic wailing and high-pitched exclamations to mourn and process emotional events. Historically, sounds in the higher voice register are often negated by Western patriarchal systems: they are said to bring confusion or sow terror, such as the shriek of the fury or song of the siren. Blake implements the structures of lamenting to rock and jolt the historical museum building to its core and confronts the systems that restrain voices in order to silence them. Ultimately, she offers space for a contemporary lament in which the body can express itself freely and be heard.

Tickets and more info about the performance online soon


Alexis Blake’s multidisciplinary practice coalesces visual art, performance and dance. She investigates the way in which the body is represented and treated as an archive, which she then critically examines, disrupts, and re-negotiates. Her work directly engages with the representation and subjectification of women’s bodies while activating them as sites and agents for socio-political change. In doing so she creates languages of resistance and spaces to expose and elude systems of power.


concept, choreography, composition, direction, text: Alexis Blake
graphic design: Sandra Kassenaar, Dongyoung Lee garments: Elisa van Joolen with Mika Perlmutter
smell: Sissel Tolaas
dancers (choreographic input / performing): Shari Ashley Labadie, Melisa Diktas, Alice de Maio, Polina Mirovskaya, Gianine Strang
singers / composers: Sanem Kalfa, Logan Muamba Ndanou
sound artist / composer: Ghaith Qoutainy
sound engineer: Hala Namer
somatic therapy : Amanda Macrae producer: Helena Julian produced by: Stedelijk Museum
curator: Britte Sloothaak

The complex smell - developed by Sissel Tolaas – professional inbetweener, smell researcher, and artist – consists of molecules from multiple archives that hold research into various forms of decay. The tablecloth, which is used in the performance, is nano-embedded with two molecules of the smell, which is released once the cloth is activated with movement.

Elisa van Joolen with Mika Perlmutter treated pre-existing garments with a number of different techniques: embossing, crocheting, cutting, and printing – sampling images from the tabloid publication. Revealing the structure of each garment, these techniques generate new readings of fragility while questioning what constitutes armour.

This project was developed on the occasion of Alexis Blake’s nomination for the Prix de Rome 2021, the oldest and most generous prize for talented artists in the Netherlands organized by the Mondriaan Fonds. The performance has been made possible with additional generous support from the Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

The development of the performance has been made possible with the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund