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Slip V

21 June 2005
Kingston Rowing Club, Hull

Part of an evening of performance entitled Fallen Angels, hosted by Paul Burwell.

The artist presented himself standing naked by two buckets, one of white runny clay or slip, the other of grey-green river silt - outdoors at the top of an ornamental garden terrace. Lee Merrill, dressed in Philip's clothes, covered Philip in the white slip as the visitors to the Rowing Club site looked on. The crowd was then invited to add the river silt to Philip's white clay-covered figure.

The transformation references Miroslav Holub's poem 'The Earliest Angels'. Philip metamorphosed from or in mud in a participatory performance, which challenges body preconceptions and alludes to myths of the origin of humanity.

Video clip from DVD by Glynis Neslen

The Earliest Angels by Miroslav Holub

The first angels were swarthy, stooped,
hairy, with sloping foreheads
and crested skulls,
arms down to the knees. In place of wings
they had two parachutes of skin,
a kind of black flying squirrels
in the volcanic winds.

Totally trustworthy.
They performed outstanding miracles.
Transubstantiations. Metamorphoses
of mud into mudfish.
A rocking horse
inflated to heavenly size,
atomic fusion at room temperature,
holding the mirror up to the spectator,
stirrings of consciousness,
creating the majesty of death.

They worked hard.
They tinkered with graves.
They swam in murky waters.
They huddled in oviducts.
They hid behind the door.
They waited.

They waited in vain.

Text with Images and video

Stills from video camera work by Bruce Currie

DVD by Glynis Neslen

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