Elytron (dusza i cialo to tylko dwa skrzydla)
Cast-concrete vessel, water, liquid make-up, underwater microphone, parabolic microphones, photographic backdrop paper, video projection
Chelsea Art Museum
From the series: Vessels
5-hour performance, 7-day installation.
The gallery floor is covered with white paper. An octagonal vessel made from cast concrete and reminiscent of a medieval baptismal font is situated close to the windows. I am immersed in the vessel, which is filled with black paint mixed with water. I remain curled up on my side and move gradually within the font. At times I leave the vessel and crawl meticulously on the floor, rubbing against the paper with the surface of my skin leaving traces of my body in paint. After a while, I return to the font. I repeat this action several times during a five-hour period.
A system of video cameras and parabolic microphones records the action. A video image is projected on one of the walls showing the view from a camera suspended above the vessel. One can hear the sounds of my body immersed in fluid or brushing against the paper, through speakers placed throughout the gallery space. Each previous hour of the process is displayed on small video monitors. The light gradually changes as the space gets darker, just as the paper becomes increasingly covered with the black marks left by my body. The gallery closes while my repetitive action still takes place. The installation remains on view for seven days after the performance.
Elytron: either of the leathery or chitinous forewings of a beetle or a related insect, serving to encase the thin, membranous hind wings used in flight. In Greek elutron signifies "body as a case for the soul," among other meanings. The remaining part of the title--spirit and body are only two wings-- is a quote from a poem by nineteenth-century Polish poet Zygmunt Krasinski.