Inhabitation by Gravity Feed 1994

16 Jun 1994 : Sidetrack Theatre, Addison Road Centre, Marrickville, Sydney

The precursor to In the House of Skin (1996) which was made two years later, this was the first full-lenth Gravity Feed performance. My source inspirations for this project were drawn from a range of 1960’s to 1980’s period influential American work across the range of Performance Art, Post-Modern Dance, and Minimalist sculpture. Particularly in the area of task-based performance, referring also to European Theatre and Performance; works such as The Tower by Anthony Howell, (Art Gallery of NSW 1988) which I saw only as video. Others I had witnessed and was strongly influenced by included: The Power of Theatrical Madness by Jan Fabre, (Amsterdam 1986, & Adelaide Festival 1988) and What the Body does not Remember by Wim van de Keybus’ Company Ultima Vez. Antwerp, 1991. Sculptors Robert Morris, Jannis Kounellis, and Richard Serra in particular have produced work which was inspirational in terms of the simple geometry and weight and imagery for the body working with the heavy panels of the set. Sculpture by these artists, dense, massive and monolithic, is always referent to the human body as yardstick. Having determined the set as comprising heavy door shaped panels, I ordered their manufacture in a factory. I commissioned metal corner units which held the shapes together by turnbuckles and cables. We then set about constructing shapes and seeing what the doors could do, how they could “perform”, and what we, in turn, could do with them. Their weight was frightening, way too heavy at 40 kg each ! This was due to the mdf internal structure that the factory used. But they were strong enough to throw around and jump on and we learned to use maximum body leverage to wield the doors with grace. Completing the work was our first major collaboration with sound artist Rik Rue.

Project Details
Dates 16 Jun 1994 to 19 Jun 1994
Duration 1 hour
Collaborators Performers: Denis Beaubois, Ari Ehrlich, Jeff Stein, Alan Schacher; Dramaturg : William McClure; Sound Design: Rik Rue ; Lighting : Simon Wise
Producer Gravity Feed
Category ensemble
Credits Photos: Heidrun Löhr ; Video: Peter Oldham ; Concept & set design : Alan Schacher