27 Gnosis, 2012


dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel


and a second iteration developed for theaters

presented at Playground Festival, STUK, Leuven, 2013 and The Kitchen, NY, 2013


In this destabilizing, combinatorial game show set within a massive mud mound, the Rigid Desgnator and Modifa, The Modifier, direct a group of 27 players who compete to develop a series of confounding propositions derived from the interplay of a set of 27 "gnoses", vaguely nose-like sculptural forms each representing a heuristic or conceptual tool for attaining experiential knowledge. The language system of the game borrows structurally from the ontologies of 17th Century taxonomic languages as well as elements of modern constructed languages such as Ithkuil, aUi, and Ygede. Unfolding unpredictably in a mixture of linguistic contortion, world-building, and dance, the game fuses Portnoy's breed of Relational Stalinism with his background in experimental comedy.


Game structure and choreography in collaboration with Ieva Misevičiūtė

Performers: Ieva Misevičiūtė, Michael Portnoy

Architecture in collaboration with Christian Wassmann

Costumes by threeASFOUR

Scent by Nasomatto


Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13)


Best of 2013, Frieze Magazine


Review of 27 Gnosis at The Kitchen, Frieze Magazine


Conversation about 27 Gnosis in BOMB Magazine


Review in Brooklyn Rail



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