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UAL Research Online

Magnesium Dreams - PICA

Biswas, Sutapa (2006) Magnesium Dreams - PICA. [Performance]

Type of Research: Performance
Creators: Biswas, Sutapa

Major commissioned performance work: PICA/TBA:06 (Portland Institute For Contemporary Art, Time Based Art Festival, 2006, USA); coinciding with exhibition of film/video works. Funded: PICA, Reed College, National Endowment For The Arts, USA.

My Performance (PICA commissioned), evolved over a three month period of exchange with Reed College and its students. During this time I corresponded with Reed College by air mail, sending a number of substantial drawings of birds (30 in total). Largely drawn from my imagination (but also reference books), these drawings formed the basis of my performance. Beginning in London, concluding in Portland, they became an archive which Reed College students translated, and using magnesium ribbon, sculpted into 3-dimensional forms. These translations (magnesium-sculptures) formed the basis of the final performance to TBA:06 festival. TBA:06 had begun with a performance by American musician/performer Laurie Anderson, and concluded with a ritualistic igniting of these magnesium-sculptures under Hawthorn Bridge (a main arterial route in the city) as dusk fell. My drawings were subsequently acquisitioned by Reed College and will be housed in the library.

The context for this performance work lies within my continued interest in taxonomies of language, and various archives that have evolved through a colonial trajectory (see ‘Transnational Correspondence: Art and Essays’, ISSN 15161692). The evolution of zoos; the Victorian pre-occupation with collections of ‘exotic’ flora and fauna extends undoubtedly to ‘birds’. Bird species particularly interest me because of their fundamentally transgressive nature; their seasonal existence seems on some level, a quiet defiance.

My film/video works were hosted: Portland Art Museum; Cooley Gallery; Elizabeth Leech Gallery. Public lectures: ‘the back room’; Reed College. The PICA / Time-Based Art Festival is a contemporary art festival of regional, national, and international artists, and is the only festival of its kind in North America. Other participating artists: Marina Abramovic; Johanna Billing.

Official Website: http://www.pica.org/tba
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 17 September 2006
Related Websites: http://www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk/17204.htm
Related Websites:
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
PICA / TBA: 06 (Portland Institute For Contemporary Art / Time Based Arts Festival, Portland, Oregon, USA2006
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA2006
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA2006
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA2006
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:26
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 12:28
Item ID: 1049
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1049

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