sexdeathlovepain, (2020)

Performance for video. Digital. Colour. Sound.

Duration: 13 minutes 49 seconds.

Courtesy of artist.

I breathed form into lettered balloons to spell out words illusive yet universal to the human experience: sex, death, love, and pain. The balloon letters were divided across two piles that I accumulated and merged into words over my heart. This action was synced to a looping audio of the event of two black holes collapsing into each other—which sounds like an ultrasound of the heart. I slowly compressed the letters between my arms and through my breath I controlled a slow collapse of my body to the floor where my shadow and reflection met. I stood back up and placed the letters back into their respective piles, from which the letter “matter” of a previous word was used to form the others. In sexdeathlovepain, I question if there could be metaphorical extensions between the strangeness of blackholes and our limited understanding of universally felt yet individually dynamic relations to sex, death, love, and pain? I play with this question further through reversing the “L” in love and the “N” in pain to confuse the orientations of the other letters. The silver balloons reference stars accumulating at the brink of event horizons, where at first glance these stellar bodies appear to simply be clusters rather than indicative of the presence of a blackhole.

Chelsea Coon is a performance artist and writer. Her performances utilise endurance to reconsider limits of the body through its various orientations to space and time. She has exhibited internationally in festivals, biennales, and galleries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She received her BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (2012), MFA at Tufts University (2014), and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Theatre, Performance and Contemporary Live Arts at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Scuola Teatro Dimitri, Switzerland (2015). Recent writings will be included in Rated RX: Sheree Rose with and after Bob Flanagan (Ohio State University Press, 2020); and the phenomenology of bloody performance art! (Routledge, under contract). Coon is a PhD candidate in practice-led research at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.