Petrification // Sarah Jane Pell & Lawrence English ARC Biennale 2005
“What performance potentials are harbored, and also penetrate, deep into our bodies?”
Lawrence English & Sarah Jane Pell
ARC Biennale, Brisbane 2005
Pell is submerged in a human-scale Petri dish. English amplifies the acoustics of the body, vessel and resonant architectural spaces, then to interrupt somatic cadence, Pell’s body is a petrified in a gel medium. Dissolving solution releases the body after 10mins. A Paramedic stands by. Together they ask, “What performance potentials are harbored, and also penetrate, deep into our bodies?”
“We acknowledge that new media performance exemplifies a multitude of anxieties but we encourage you to take heart. Sometimes it is through these artworks that awareness and respect for life emerges. We are currently investigating ideas of resonant exchange in a piece called Petrification that may further this discussion. You see, by focusing on the cycle of inhalation and exhalation we attempt to amplify one of the body’s most persistent and essential rhythms. Then, we intend to interrupt the somatic cadence of the body through a process of bodily petrifaction. Beautiful yes?
The transparent laboratory process of petrifaction could be billed as a physical act, a political statement, an aural presence, a sublime meditation and, maybe even a tool for self-transformation. We can’t really be certain. Perhaps it is a naive form of bio-acoustic bell jar dramaturgy. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that it falls under the “new media” umbrella. We are interested in what anxieties are inescapable in the body, the enveloping world and the conditions for life. What performance potentials are harbored, and also penetrate, deep into our bodies? These questions are a point of departure for this piece.”
Stephens, T., (Ed) Petrification, Sarah Jane Pell & Lawrence English, ARC Biennale Catalogue October 28-30 2005 Art Workers Alliance, Brisbane Australia p 49 ISBN 0 9757549 12
ARC Biennial 2005 Petrified! Pell & English, Vulture, Arts Program, ABC TV, Aired Nov 1 2005
Pell & English
Australian New Media Artists
Petrification Installation. Photo Bec English
Presented at the ARC Biennial Brisbane Opening Raw Galleries exhibition by the Australian Network for Art and Technology [ANAT] in association with the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Also thanks to the Judith Wright Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane who provided rehearsal space for the development of this piece.