Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Robin Gardiner - EXCHANGE & PRESENCE

In this performance piece I create a series of alternative “portraits” of people who will visit the building during SITESHOW3. I give a foot massage to an individual and in return they let me take and  display  a cast of their feet after the massage. 


I use cling-film and sellotape to make the cast,  the idea of binding and wrapping a body to preserve or recreate the essence or portrait of the person goes back to Egyptian art and the mummification process.  The fact that the final “work” has touched the person, possibly has their DNA on it, is important.


As I create the casts I suspend them from the ceiling and gradually a series of foot portraits is built up in the space. The suspended casts are so light that the air in the space and the presence of passers-by can cause them to move. It also creates a dance between the subject of the exchange  and the visitors. Each responds to the presence of the other.


There is also sound piece connected to this work called “Thank You” which layers the voices of those who have previously taken part in “Presence” and my voice to create a rhythmic and dynamic sound- world based on the phrase  “Thank You”.  I also propose to record my subjects saying thank you during SITESHOW3 so that this work will continue to evolve.


The visitors can choose to listen to  “Thank You” at the same time as viewing the massage process and the foot casts.

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