I have never been absolutely sure about performance art. Until recently I rather felt that performances worked best in the domain of the theatre and the Turner Prize offering by Spartacus Chetwynd did little to change my mind. I am beginning to feel differently thanks to the work of Izabela Brudkeiwicz who has just completed the Brighton University FDA in Fine Art (Contemporary Practice) at Sussex Coast College and is pictured below.
Izabela’s performances are hard to watch because she drives herself to the absolute limit of endurance in what almost seems like a self-imposed punishment. Although the pictures give some kind of impression, watching her live is very different. A year ago she painstakingly glued rice to the wall grain by grain for a whole week until she could hardly stand and the rows of rice, which had started in neat parallels dipped towards the floor. In her current performance she utters a cry or wail in a code of her own devising. Izabela is Polish and the work is about the problems of communication.
Izabela has performed this ritual around a dozen times over the last few months. Dressed in a simple white shift and with bare feet , or on occasions, white socks – a kind of sacrificial garb – she maintains the performance for two or more hours until she sinks with exhaustion. It is simple but it is also extremely powerful.
Izabela will be performing at the Sussex Coast College Degree Show Private view on June 21 at Station Plaza Hastings.