2011, Performance. Duration: 15 minutes.
Backlit Gallery, Nottingham.
It is winter and the city is covered in snow. Out of the cold, in the gas fired warmth of the gallery, I put on a pair of ski boots and skis. I pull a large, cotton twill dust sheet, which is spotted with paint like a Jackson Pollock canvas, over my head. I then take up some ski poles and ask a member of the audience to kindly switch off the lights. Once in the dark I produce a pair of safety goggles with candles glued to the eyes, which I light. I carefully place the lit glasses on my face, over the dust sheet. All the while during the performance and as the candles burn I chat to the audience, which is mostly made up of friends. They tell me that I look like the really annoying character Jar Jar Binks from the recent Star Wars movie, or a mountain on skis at night.
I once got lost on a mountain during a ski holiday (Alpbach, where Erwin Schrödinger is buried) I watched in horror as the cable cars swung to a stop and wept. Later, on New Years Eve, I watched skiers with torches weaving down the mountainside after dark, tracing DNA-like light patterns. As an adult I don not cry so easily, so the wax that dripped from my eyes during this performance might have simulated tears, as an attempt to become reconciled with a painful memory.