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‘The dizziness of freedom’   Series: The unconscious and live art

2009

The Late Shift, The Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, November 2009

A Durational Performance Exploring Anxiety and the Unconscious. Employing live art as a vehicle for the unconscious, delving into notions of stillness and repetition. The journey is slowed extending the action between A and B and a suspended exploration of the space between develops.

Based on a fear of heights the dizziness of freedom was created as a literal re-enactment of a recurring dream. By re-living the moment I aspired to test my mind and body, working together to examine and challenge the notion of physical and psychological limits.

The simple action of climbing up and along the diving board was drawn out over the duration of three hours. The repetition of stillness and movement, stillness and movement created a rhythm for the piece. Without having visual recognition of the time, my body was left suspended in the space, the action slowed down and highlighted. Not only was I recreating a fear but I was decoding each phase and reliving it in every second that passed. For this reason the dizziness of freedom was an attempt to stage the unconscious so to speak. In psychoanalysis the ‘traumatic event’ is relived in the consulting room in front of an analyst; the patient is encouraged to verbally recreate ‘the event’ which has been buried in the unconscious. In recreating an unconscious thought I was living out my fear, the audience my analyst and the stage my consulting platform.

By being in the same pose for a lengthy amount of time I felt as though I merged with the structure, I became a living statue that would only move occasionally. The audience recorded the progression and development of the piece as I moved up and along the diving board with their recurring visits. Interesting to hear their responses and thoughts on the piece as they discussed these openly whilst standing in front of me; “oh look she’s moved” and “wonder if she’ll jump off when she gets to the end”. It was as if that was all I did, that I was not a real person; my job was to complete this task.

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