I performed Aphanisis (Disappearance) for the ‘The Open Body’ at Scratch Art Space, Marrickville.
In this performance I explore the tension between appearance and disappearance. I attempt to merge with my reflection in a way that destroys it and threatens to destroy me, but each time I resurface and so does my reflection in the water.
Through this performance I engage with the theories of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, specifically the mirror stage and the death drive, as well as spiritual or metaphysical ideas and ritual practices, such as the Christian ritual of baptism.
The Lacanian psychoanalytic theories of the Mirror Stage and the Death Drive address the tension in the human subject between wholeness and fragmentation, Being and alienation, life and death. According to Lacan, human experience is marked by Eros, the life instinct, the drive to remain a conscious speaking subject, but we also experience a competing impulse to return to a state of pre-being, of primordial unity, which can also be thought of as a movement towards death.
Spiritual and ritual practices often provide a way of framing life in terms of death and rebirth and may also involve participation in the fullness of Being through altered states of consciousness. By attempting to merge with my reflection in a way that is potentially life-threatening I aim to illustrate these tensions at the core of subjectivity and evoke different ideas of life and death as well as the potential for rebirth.