Nicola Morton Static Ice Melt 12/04/2012 Performance 1hr10min; Video 15min; Installation 2.2mx2.2mx0.5m ice, recycled wood, newspaper, diary entries, polyeurethane film; Photographic Installation/Costume 2mx1.5m 32 modified 4x6prints on recycled plastic; for “The Cage In Us” Judith Wright Center of Contemporary Art, Brisbane. Filmed by Marisa Allen
The performance/installation happens simultaneously with Cage’s Theater Pieces (1960) as part of the “Cage In Us” festival celebrating John Cage’s 100th birthday. The performance experiments with ideas of psychological static and melting vs stasis and shedding at the autumn equinox.
The performance is an audio-visual experiment and durational. Nicola lies on a bed of ice for 1hr and 10 minutes. Sounds from VLF receivers and static are produced, accompanied by a projection of a performance for video of an autumn equinox ritual, Nicola screaming at the edges of a gigantic waterfall. The bed of ice is installed surrounded and littered by photographs, newspapers and diary entries spanning the last year and a half. Nicola wears a camoflauge hooded costume made out of transparent cellophane and photos. The photos reflect stasis, and consist mostly of lone psychedelic experiences with strangers and the built environment.
The audience response was also an experiment (and on reflection, frustratingly ironic). Mostly the viewers sit down and read the diary entries to the freezing Nicola, a weird time warp happens as they read her own diary entries to her, trying to keep her mind engaged while she slowly becomes frozen from the ice. An unexpected sense of community was experienced.
Psychedelic and shamanic forces vacillate between static (permanent) and (stasis) temporary. Sharing a shedding ritual is problematic. In an attempt to psychologically free herself from her diary entries and photographic memories of stasis nothing is actually shed at all. The community rescues the entries and upholds the static till her death. Media triumphs forever as static. Shedding is truly temporary. Ice melts.
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