man wrapped by face masks struggles to move in no escape performance in milan, italy

landscape architect chaosteria has collaborated with xixi zi and xuegang wang to present the ‘no escape’ public performance, aiming to address the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on humans’ everyday life and their relationship with nature. the project unravels in front of the milan cathedral, featuring a constrained man in a whole-body face mask wrap, who struggles to move within the limits of a shrinking red circle, marked on the ground.

the performance by chaosteria, xixi zi and xuegang wang is deeply influenced by the concept of social isolation. ‘the coronavirus has swept across the world and people cannot live as normal as usual – the room has become the main space of our lives’ the artists share. indeed, long-term isolation within confined spaces, away from the outside world and the various activities it offers, makes people feel bored, anxious, and irritable. ‘no escape’ reflects on this situation, reminding the public to evaluate their current lack of connection with their natural surroundings.

during the performance, as the red circle continues to shrink, the masked man has to adjust his movements in order to adapt to the limited space. at first, the area is large enough for him to move, tracing the circle’s perimeter. however, eventually, he falls to the ground due to movement difficulty, fatigue, and vertigo. all masks that were included in the project are waste products that have been reused after thorough cleaning and disinfecting.