RECESS (research-in-action) by Michael Helland

Initiated in 2015, RECESS is an evolving form of research-in-action that stands for many things…

As an event, ‘recess’ is a period of playtime, or a period for contemplation – a temporary suspension of regular daily activities.

As an installation, ‘recess’ refers to a small hidden space apart from the rest – a place to get lost and eventually become found.

As an action, ‘recess’ acts as a counterpoint to notions of permanent growth, presenting opportunities for resilience and vitality.

RECESS is the ‘Ritual Experience Concept Event Spa Show’ – a site-sensitive installation, situation for performance, and dynamic workshop series aiming to re-enchant the senses and inspire higher awareness through holistic gatherings and immersive bodywork modalities.

RECESS is an ongoing form of research-in-action by Michael Helland. Previous phases of research have resulted in RECESS: Dance of Light (2016) – a one-hour solo theatrical intervention in New York, and RECESS: ZSenne Salon (2017) – a two-week immersive exhibition in Brussels.  RECESS: Becoming Crystalline (2018) was part of the immersive Welt ohne Außen exhibition at Gropius Bau in Berlin.

RECESS: RSVP (ongoing) intuitive bodywork rituals are available by individual appointment, contact Michael to make your own RECESS: RSVP.


RECESS was awarded a research grant from the Flemish Authorities of Belgium (2017) and has received creative residencies from PARTS Summer Studios (2015 & 2018), the Villa Empain (2016 & 2017), wpZimmer (2016), ZSenne art lab (2017), and Workspacebrussels (2019).  Excerpts from RECESS: Dance of Light were performed in Movement Research at Judson Church (2016).  RECESS was catalyzed in part by an invitation from Eleanor Bauer for a special episode of Bauer Hour at Kaaistudios (2015).

Special thanks, for your creative engagement and continued artistic support, to Kennis Hawkins, Manon Santkin, Anne Pajunen, Elisa Yvelin, Hugo Mega, Jackie Elder, Meri Pajunpää, Nelle Hens, Colin Wolf, Thomas Proksch, and Isabel Lewis.