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Slip XI

Live performance with clay and water
25th January 2007
Installation with wood, clay, water
and birthing-pool liner
25th - 29th January 2007

The Barge House,
Oxo Tower Warfe, Southbank, London

Central Saint Martins
MA Fine Art Interim Show 2006

Curated by six MA curating students
from Goldsmiths College:
Konstantinos Dagritzikos, Caterina Riva,
Caroline Soyez-Petithomme, Cadine Navarro,
Ana Garcia-Pineda and Yannis Arvanitis

Lee performed Slip XI 2007 at the opening of the student group show on 25th January 2007. In an isolated room Lee prepared the performance space by lining a 3 metre square area of the floor with translucent skin-like birthing-pool liner, fixed and so outlined with silver gaffer tape. Within this space arranged in a line were two wooden frames and a low wooden plinth: all were draped in the same plastic sheeting; that of the plinth was allowed to reach beyond the edge of the performance area. One frame was filled to the brim with runny, cream-coloured clay slip; the other was half filled with clear water. Lee disrobed at 6.30 pm promptly and proceeded to cover himself in the clay standing within the clay filled frame, using a mortar borrowed from his home. A mirror, leaning backwards from the space and onto the wall (so outside the performance space area), was used to check coverage, which was not complete at the conclusion of this the first half of the performance. Once 'covered' in clay Lee walked round the space to stand on the plinth until 7.30 pm. Here Lee is covering his body to reveal and display the common nature of the male body declaring perhaps Ecce Homo - 'Behold the man'. At once celebrating and valorising the male body while implying it's vulnerability in the shaking and trembling that accompanied the naked performance in a cold environment. The 'dominant fiction' of patriarchal power is challenged in the nature of this particular 'heroic' display. For the latter part of the performance Lee scraped the clay from his body and then washed off the remains in the pool of water at the centre of the performance area. In a sensuous action, which gradually revealed his chilled and reddened skin, the feminine aspect of the male body is evoked in an intimate moment, which was again punctuated by Lee ascending the modest plinth. He shivered there until at 8.25 pm he stepped off the plinth to walk back to his clothing and dress before departing the space, as he had arrived, fully dressed.

Curatorial statement:


Imagine that the end of the world has occurred and everything on earth has been destroyed. Everything, but art. What would happen if an alien landed on earth and tried to reconstruct the physical appearance of the artists judging from these objects? As a contemporary archaeologist, it would try to sort the artworks, according to a random system or accidental criteria such as color, shape or material. As mathematical rules include exceptions, chance is always a relevant element in scientific processes. Using the alien as a metaphor for the contemporary art viewer, the curatorial procedure aimed at simulating a likewise environment of reconstruction inside the premises of the Bargehouse.

11.472 cm (371.98 feet) is the sum of the 65 artists' and the 6 curators' heights involved in the Central St Martins MA Interim show 2007. In this exhibition the participants are part of an index system with the key word "height". Painting, video, installation, sculpture, performance are arranged on the four floors of the building according to their producers' heights. Whilst in the past classification has been employed with political purposes and acknowledged as a tool of social control, this specific sorting of the works can be conceived as an ironic approach towards art and as a comment of the constant competition embedded in its circulation.

Konstantinos Dagritzikos (187cm)
Caterina Riva (180cm)
Caroline Soyez-Petithomme (179cm)
Cadine Navarro (170cm)
Ana Garcia-Pineda (169cm)
Yannis Arvanitis (167cm)

Fifty photographs by Romain Forquy, showing the progress of the performance, were installed in the space on the following day. The show continued until 28th January 2007.

Filming and video editing by Steve Brown (in preparation and will be added here in due course).

Additional performance photography by Holly Brown, Julia Davy, Fung King, Naomi Schillinger and Graham Evans.

Installation photography by Judy Goldhill and Philip Lee.

Video Editing by Steve Brown

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