Live body, dead body
A female entrapped in a grip of branches, which cut off from the dead stem resurrect to construct a prison, a shelter, or a dress.
The ‘half alive, half dead’ natural entity, where the image of a figure in a gown is imitated, evokes the sense of a splendid, almost festive appearance of a participant in a procession - unrealistic procession because the performer is deprived of movement. A peculiar symbiosis of human and nature, where the associations of the body with a plant, skin with bark, roots with hair qualify as a blended substance to deceive the viewer that the visible might look natural and vivid, but is fake, mistaken, unreliable - an attractive illusion, fueled with implicit apprehension.
The enforced placement of the body stuck inside the branch cone, constitutes a controversial visual impression of a modeled object, tranquil and graceful, yet uncomfortable and tensed. The fundament of a plant, penetrating the soil and growing upwards as to connect earth and heaven is disordered by the upside-down organization and vague function.
The twines covering the torso, with their quality to flow freely, weave, and connect, reflect but also disrupt the trees roots’ ability to grow – they are artificial, visually imitate, but could not replace. They expand illusionary in the hair - another symbol of growth, whose similarly unusual condition reinforces the idea of unauthenticity. It is twisting in the air as if the ‘plant’ is trying to climb up but having lost its natural qualities it turns into a still, paralyzed form.
Suggested as an installation-performance this modified structure is designed as a live sculpture, where the performer will be suspended from the ceiling. In the displayed case, the assistance of photo editing acts as a method the artwork to be seen from a different perspective-one that describes the notion of ‘stealing’ the movement of life as conveyed in a concept about the roots as a spring of life and the interruption of growth as a representation of the lost continuity of the life cycle.
Three of Life
'Ana Mendieta used her own body, together with elemental materials such as blood, fire, earth and water, to create visceral performances and ephemeral ‘earth-body’ sculptures that combine ritual with metaphors of life, death, rebirth and spiritual transformation'
In Tree of Life Anna Mendieta stands covered in mud in front of a tree trunk with raised arms, 'disappearing' in the bark's colour and texture. Ritualistic ceremony of return to the nature's roots. Mendieta's 'earth-body' work again informs my ideas with her concept of absence, reflecting the universal energy she peruses to illuminate through her work.
The hair is an important attribute in this piece - acting against gravity and dehumanizing the figure, it is sculpted vertically from the roots. Hairstyle and wire make the construction stable and at the same time looking fluid and realistic.
The performer is transformed into an alien creature that reminds a fantasy character, an 'elf' from the forest - an assumption that recalls the connection with nature. The human properties of the body make it look out of time and may be in the wrong place?
The erotic plays a significant role in Edie Peake's work, often in combination with the absurd, he emphasizes non-verbal means of expression - emotions, bodily movement, sounds, to speech and word. In this Performance I find a harmonized dialogue between the silent, gracious posing of the Golden 'sculptures', whose disguise is found both in the mimicked look , their bodily firmness, and idea of disappearance of the body, of the human.
This is another way of confinement without physical boundaries - confinement found in the void and lack of movement, in tension, and de-personification.