The Iceberg Lounge
2012, Performance installation, duration: 4 hours.
Frieze Art Fair VIP drinks reception, Camden Arts Centre, London.
Review in Prospect Magazine: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/blog/frieze-art-fair-after-part/
Inspired by film, TV and comic book depictions of Batman Villain, 'Mr Freeze', I transformed my studio at Camden into 'The Iceberg Lounge'; an arctic drinking den.
A sculptural iceberg was made in the centre of the room by covering the gallery scaffolding tower and a tall ladder in opaque plastic sheeting. Lit by three small strobe lights from within, this paradoxical object seemed to be melting at an alarming rate.
Four gallery assistants (Rosa Farber, Liam Mcgarry, and two others) wore identical white boiler suits to suggest Mr Freeze minions. With heads wrapped in tin foil spiked with cocktail sticks, they offered single blueberries to party guests.
Anna Kolosova sat at a small bar in the entrance to The Iceberg Lounge, receiving guests in a dismissive manner (speaking only Russian). Dressed in icy make-up and an emerald green cocktail dress, she offered guests an ice-cold shot of vodka, a white plastic ruler, and a paper eye mask to wear.
I performed as 'Mr Freeze', wearing a white lab coat and safety goggles with red flashing lights attached over the eyes, and a glass bell jar over my head. I wandered the gallery, leaning and tapping the bell jar/my head against the gallery walls, as if in despair at some experiment gone wrong.
An arctic-blue automata butterfly hovered over the strings of an amplified electric guitar, producing a metallic staccato drone. Microphones attached to three iron radiators amplified a hollow percussive roar when tapped. Mirrors and other objects hung and spun from the ceiling. The work was an enigmatic attempt to consider terrible puns, cool hospitality in VIP art settings, and anxiety over recent reports about global warming.