Critical Writing Index

Walking, Standing, Sitting Like a Duck: Three instances of invasive, reparative behavior

by Carol Becker

Performance Research: A journal of the performing arts, Oct. 2009, v. 13, no. 3, pp. 139-145

Carol Becker examines works by performance artists — Ernesto Pujol, Kim Sooja and Wafaa Bilal that "create an axis of action to intercept everyday life [and whose] interventions are modest given the enormity of their concerns – war, reparation, life, death, the passing of time, the development of human consciousness and responsibility. They simply point in the direction of their obsessions, sadness and impotence. Without actually meaning to, they come to reflect the unique ability of artists to engage the largest questions of life and society in their bodies, and to do so within mundane gestures of walking, standing and sitting – in full consciousness, yet without judgment" (145). Pujol's uses walking as embodied meditations to facilitate a contemplation of loss; Sooja uses her body in various calibrations of stillness and motion as a means of "providing an ‘axis’ for time and space, either vertical or horizontal, reminding us of the order of the world" (143); and Bilal creates virtual war zones in which he places himself as a target.

ITEM 2009.128 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Mourning CircleErnesto Pujol

A Needle WomanKim Sooja

A Beggar WomanKim Sooja

A Laundry WomanKim Sooja

Shoot an IraqiWafaa Bilal

Domestic TensionWafaa Bilal