IL SOFFIO (AT THE BACK OF MIND)
Tournai Cathedral, Belgium, Triennale of textile and contemporary art (2008)
Video live installation (280 mts of fabric, 4 books, graphite, 4 projectors, cctv system)
When I was approached by Catherine and Christian to propose a piece for the Cathedral and went to see it, it was overwhelming. I kept my eyes on the pattern of the floor tiles, as safety net. Just like we do in life: we need something to hang onto. A lot of the times it is a constructed philosophical architecture, like religion, other times we adopt a recipe for a do-it-yourself sort of reference structure. I was told to do maths when I get anxious. Either ways, there is a common element, a meeting point: the obsession expressed in repetition, modularity … which is ritual.
I roll in the red fabric repeating:
nero, nero, bianco (black black white)
through the 67 mts long transept while a camera films my movement from my forehead. The live films is projected back onto the fabric. The end of the fabric is attached at the opposite side from where I start. When I arrive at the other side I take the fabric back with me by rolling my body in it. I stop when there is no more fabric, in the middle of the transept, I stand and spin to free my body from the fabric. I go back to where I started. I roll again till I come to the centre of the Transept and take the fabric around my body again, back to where I started. A pile of the red material has formed at the bottom of the structure where the whole composition starts. Ready for the next performance.
I drew the floor tiles pattern (two black and one white) in 4 books which were positioned on the first floor corridor of the Norman nave. The audience walking through were followed by video shadows projected onto the fabric in the opposite corridor
Triennale Internationale des Arts du Tissus et de la Tapisserie, Tournai, Belgium.
Traces of the project were exhibited at Wysing Arts Centre in the exhibition Performed (17 May — 28 June 2009), artists: Elena Cologni, Simon Davenport, RJ Hinrichsen, Andy Holden, Katherine Hymers, Olga Jurgenson, CJ Mahony, Rob Smith, Townley and Bradby, Mark Wilsher.
A one day symposium on performance and contemporary art practice (30 May), accompanied the exhibition. This was
Chaired by Dr. Gavin Butt of Goldsmith College, with invited speakers artists Mel Brimfield & Elena Cologni, Dr Amelia Jones, then Professor in Art History, Manchester University Kathy Noble, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern
My warm thank you to Vianney, Maxime, Vivien , Philippe, Sylvain, Eric, all the hands, minds and hearts involved, and to Christian, Catherine and Dominique for not saying no…