/ the penal labour / (2010-2022)

Performance at Tempting Failure; performance festival (2018)
(Photos: Matt Yard)

A reflection:
There I stand, in an empty room, gluing small stones all over my face, neck and then further down over my chest as far as I can for 5 hours. Outside, a vernissage is taking place where people are laughing and toasting. They can be heard vaguely through the door and louder for a moment when it opens to a new viewer entering or exiting for a moment. The audience stands and sits along the walls around me while I carefully and carefully glue stone after stone that grows into a wall between us. The only thing heard are the sounds of the stones rattling in the bowl and the occasional one falling to the ground. I'm dressed in a shimmering silver-gray dress and my movements remind me of someone putting on make-up for a glittering party. But as time goes by, fatigue begins to shine through, hands tremble and more and more rocks fall to the ground. At first the audience has time to dismiss me, but then, all because it dawns on them that I'm still going, hour in and hour out, some of them actually start to come closer. They begin to listen and see. Something that has given rise to truly intimate and powerful meetings. When 5 hours have passed, I finish the work and look at myself exhausted in the mirror before I start tearing everything apart. The small stones fall, bounce across the floor and the sudden sounds break the silence. The stones leave little red irritated marks on my skin. It stings and my face contorts. Then it's over. In this work I examine my own self-image, where I found a clash between the extrovert and the introvert. A longing to get close to people but also to protect myself from closeness.