My sense breath can make a difference to my state of mind and environmental situation. I’ll take a break out of feeling panicked, take a deep breath and your mind is taken back to reality. The process of calming down.
“Upon a wall a rectangle of tape corresponds to the height and width of the artists body. As the public enter the space, their hands are taken and placed over his heart. The breath in and out is then left as a trace on the wall for the duration of the What Next For the Body exhibition.
The final performance that I came across prior to my regretful absconding of the nights events was Jordan McKenzie’s Drawing Breath. This was the most physically interactive and intimate piece of the whole night, a status maintained by a limit on how many members of the audience were allowed access to the room at any given time. After repeatedly marking brown paper with charcoal, McKenzie proceeded to blow into the paper until a balloon had formed, which he then slammed into the wall, causing it to form a dusty pattern as it exploded. He then approached an individual member of the audience, unbuttoned his shirt and placed their hand on his respiring chest, only to retreat and repeat the process for two hours.
Drawing Breath, “Holding my Breath”, appeared to be an enquiry into the act of breathing, of its necessity, its repetitiveness, and of the transience in the intake of a single breath. Whilst I will admit that I found the performance slightly rigid and uncomfortable – in particular when he took my hand in order to lay it on his chest – it was also a very fitting way to end a night of pondering such a loaded topic as the current and future state of the human body. The simplicity of such universally organic actions was a soft reminder that we all, for now, begin purely as flesh and blood. Whilst this may be perceived as wonderful by some or as naïve or even crude by others, as we journey further into the twenty-first century it is a subject that will grow in technological complexity and philosophical ambiguity. Let us hope that artworks such as those found in What Next For The Body? and the following Inbetween Time festival will aid us in comprehending both where we now stand and where we are heading.”