Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Don't Look Down

Don't Look Down 

The University of Brighton, Brighton, UK

January 2009

Visitors arriving to see a presentation of my new work were asked to wait outside a studio with a closed door and shaded windows. A screen placed outside the room showed a relayed image of myself, apparently inside the studio, lying on the ground in front of a table with two framed white prints on it. Visitors were let in one at a time, not sure whether the slumped body would turn out to be real or virtual (a mediated image) as in my recent work. If they made it across the threshold of my body they would discover the frames were not blank but contained embossed imprints of my debit card. These cards were positioned upright (like tomb stones) and the prints were priced at the exact amount of the debts their titles referred to. After everyone had seen the work, the plug was suddenly pulled from the wall and the screen outside went dead.


Performance for video


The body is a resource. Having exhausted my bank account I attempted to use my mouth as an ATM machine. I wanted to draw out the value from my body like oil from the ground. This task was interrupted by my gag reflex which acted as a form of natural and innate resistance. The card was repeatedly rejected and expelled from my body along with tears, saliva and sweat.

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