I've had a day of rest, and now returned to the work as we deinstall the Schism show. This is the first chance I've had to step away from the work, and see it in it's objective state for a week now. I invigilated in the afternoon and so was able to see the last few people react to the empty work, and then realised I had not really spoken about the work without the performer completing it.
Through the actual making of the work, I had always found a comedic value in it, which has never intentionally been the case. In effect it is a flaccid bodily form, with these elongated tube like structures without the performing body to give a bit more detail and definition in terms of shape. It is such a powerful work when it is performed at night and yet the day time is so anticlimactic! I am not saying this in a negative sense either, merely as an observation. I would be left disappointed if I had come across this work, it appears as something is unfulfilled. There is an interesting temporal change morning to afternoon as the full work manifests, dies and resurrects with each day which I had not fully realised on terms of the day to day.
I was actually thinking this while in the work but the whole vibe of the piece, in perhaps a less horrific sense reminds me of the Silent Hill franchise. Based on a video game but made more popular by the films, the plot bases itself around a town that resulted in an underground fire burning and ruining the town. The characters that visit the misty town soon find as it gets to a certain time that the town transforms into a nightmare world, animated with horrifying creatures and dangers. One particular character, 'Colin the Janitor' whose lifeless corpse hangs in the space before the siren rings and he comes alive, particular reminds of the Schism piece. I remember being absolutely terrified when watching this scene, as the comfort level and expectation of the dead is to stay dead. This quickly subverts when infused with the horror genre, where the finality of death is nearly always challenged. It is clear that this is a device of horror and so as scary as it is is not real, and I feel like I have brought a very tiny cross section of this to the Schism show. I can see why people have such a strong fearful reaction, especially to the girl I accidentally knocked a metal plate over as she went to leave the space...
I feel it is important to define what I wanted from the work at this time, and my interpretation of the work. More recently I've tried not to pin down the concept, and focus primarily on medium, but my opinion has changed slightly from the beginning, and I want to cement it in writing at this point in case it changes. I am unsure if the performing entity is an representation of death, a curse to it's own subject. Perhaps more appropriately it is a manifestation of my anxiety in regard to death. The ambiguous form which is somewhat familiar as human while at the same time being alien, is powerless. It writhes around the space with a lack of regard or acceptance for it's fate, which appears to be in a state of birthing from the vacant bed, propelling itself desperately to separate itself from it's deceptively uncomfortable prison. It may also be in a state of dying, much like a soul leaving the body, anxious and scared of its fate and so is not prepared to move into the unknown, remaining in an internally purgatory state between life and death- this is emphasised through the death rattle which is on a constant never-ending loop... It seeks sympathy, help, care, but seeks an escape from its position of self loathing.