New Zealand yoga artist shocks Berlin tourists

Alexa Wilson in action. Photo/supplied
Alexa Wilson in action. Photo/supplied

A Kiwi performance artist is perplexing tourists by holding yoga poses in front of well known European monuments.

Berlin-based expat Alexa Wilson has been holding a single yoga pose in front of bustling tourist spots in the city as part of an arts project.

Occasionally she will ask tourists to take a photo of her posing in front of central Berlin landmarks like the gold topped Victory Column, or the Brandenburg Gate, once the site of the Berlin Wall, as well as the German Parliament buildings and the Fernsehturm.

"And in the pictures, there's always a person behind me," Wilson says. "Just some old lady looking at me, obviously wondering, 'what are you doing there and why are you trying to look like that television tower?'"

Despite the novelty value, Wilson has serious intent behind the poses and the pictures.

"It's about investigating the relationship between the female body and systems of power and money," explains Wilson, who has previously won four awards at the Auckland Fringe Festival and who has danced for Douglas Wright. "But I didn't want to do anything obvious, this is more of a subtle subversion. It's about bringing this private practice into a public space."

Wilson has been in Berlin for the past four months as part of a residency organised through the Transart Institute, a contemporary art school based in both Berlin and New York.

She is about to head to New York for another six weeks of further study for her Masters of Fine Arts.

While there, she's looking forward to surprising a few more tourists in the metropolis.

Wilson also hopes to perform more tourist yoga and exhibit the results of the project when she returns to New Zealand next year.

- Herald Online

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