big break

Chelsea Coon


Chelsea Coon, big break (2022). Performance to video. Digital. Colour. Sound. 3.03 of 37.17 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

I enter a video frame situated in a gallery space containing a steel bed frame wearing a black mini dress with combat boots. Over the duration of 37 minutes and 17 seconds, I picked up the steel frame and positioned it in as many different orientations as possible. The unfolding duress of my body against a prefabricated framework that despite being acted on, was bending, but indicated no signs of falling apart suggests the endless act of enduring against frameworks chosen and unchosen. This work was scored by my actions which made the steel frame hit, smash, screech or scratch the concrete floor at different volumes which were all contingent on the force I applied. Over time the bolts holding the frame together became loose. I continued to work with the bed frame while it bent and warped in my hands until both the frame and my body had endured to our limits.

Chelsea Coon (b. 1989 United States) is an artist and writer whose work focuses on the shifting interconnections of the body, time, and space. She utilises endurance to reconsider limits of the body and forms through performance, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, sound, and text. There is a tension inherent in structures meant to fail that poetically describes the body's relationship to factors beyond its control. She has exhibited and performed extensively internationally in festivals, biennales, and galleries in North America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, and the Middle East. Her writings have been published in magazines, journals, as well as numerous experimental and academic publications on art, performance, and philosophy. She is the author of Enduramorphosis: Performance as Transformation through Endurance (Rowman & Littlefield: Performance Philosophy series, 2024 *under contract) and No One Thing is the Root of All Anything: Phases and Performance of the Imminent (Not a Cult, Los Angeles, 2018). Chelsea Coon is the recipient of the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grant, Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography, and the Rose Hill Performance Art Award. She lives and works in Los Angeles.


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