Ever since yesterday, I have been thinking about that aquarium at Ilfracombe, with an uneasy feeling that I will find myself visiting it sooner or later. What is going on here?
It was not until this morning that I remembered another topic touched upon by Margaret Drabble in her talk, and began to think about our origins in the sea..
I remembered a performance I made many years ago, in which I strung together hundreds of plastic bottles that had been thrown up on the shore, wrapped them around myself like a garment, and threw myself into the sea. My friends, filming and taking photographs from the beach thought it was hilarious as I screamed and thrashed about, making a lot of noise. But what they were witnessing was a real-life case of ‘not waving, but drowning’, as the bottles filled up with water, dragging me down down down with their weight… and the cord joining them together tangled itself savagely around my arms and legs, and cut into my neck.
Here are some images from that event. You may see that many of the bottles are covered with bitumen (tarmac), which I had used in a previous installation.
As I said, what is going on here? And just what the hell do I think I am doing?