Tom Isaacs (b. 1985, Oxford, UK) is a Sydney-based performance artist, sculptor and curator. In 2008, he completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. He returned to SCA in 2015, enrolling in a PhD researching the connection between ritual and body art.
Isaacs’ artistic practice draws from psychoanalytic theory, ritual practices and the history of performance art in order to explore the human experience of subjectivity. He is interested in the idea that ritual, psychoanalysis and art making (particularly performance) are different methods for exploring this subjectivity. In psychoanalytic terms, he is interested in the conflict between the life and death drives or, as Bataille puts it in ‘Erotism’, between continuity and discontinuity.
Recent performances include: Talking Cure, Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle 2017; Lazarus has fallen asleep, Scratch Art Space, Marrickville 2017; Can these bones live?, 107 Projects, Redfern 2016; Night Soil, Scratch Art Space, Marrickville 2016; and Night Soil II, Sydney Festival of Death and Dying, Darling Point 2016.
Isaacs is a frequent contributor to base-metal, “a platform for research, dialogue, exchange, performance” founded by Julie Vulcan in 2014. He has participated in a number of Intercessions events, as well as a short-term residency at the BigCi, Bilpin 2016 and ‘Same Difference: Equinox to Equinox’ 2016 – a global performance event organised by Bbeyond.