Slowly Breathe in…and Out…Through the Object
Description of project
SHORT DESCRIPTION Slowly Breathe in…and Out…Through the Object is a performative exercise in mass hypnotism. Loosely modeled on the saga of Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc (1981-89), the performance directs viewers to imagine in their minds eye a plaza where they are guided to encounter and then heal a trauma about public sculpture. Participants are led through relaxation and breathing exercises by the artist. After being asked to close their eyes, each person is given a solid rusted steel object to hold, concentrate on, and use a tool for meditation. A bond is formed between the audience and the metal object as they are instructed to breathe in and out through it; thus, the object becomes an extension of them. The artist tells a story that projects and enlarges their object into the imagined plaza. He recounts the problems it experiences with its public and the site; he describes the misunderstandings and disdain that leads to a tragic end and the objects own awareness of the inevitable. The story concludes with an act of forgiveness, reconciliation, withdrawal, and ultimately, release as the audience’s objects are removed from their hands. When the story has ended the participants are instructed to regain their breath independent from their object, open their eyes whenever they feel ready, remain in their seats, relax and think. While everyone slowly comes out of their trance, the artist exits and leaves the audience to discuss the experience amongst themselves. This performance was most recently presented for 30 people as part of Skulpturengarten Strombad Kritzendorf, near Vienna, Austria. Chairs were situated in a semicircle facing into the woods of this outdoor sculpture park. The performance took place around 19:30 in almost complete darkness.
Type of work
Skulpturengarten Strombad Kritzendorf, Austria
Link to web site