BEAMS Art Festival

Standing in this River on Its way out to the Sea. 2015

This sculpture was constructed around a wire armature using a recycled paper and plaster compound. It incorporates a soundscape using audio samples from the artist’s shower and the nearby ocean.

Standing in this River on Its way out to the Sea was installed in proxy “inverted” bathroom in the front courthouse of a terrace house in Chippendale Sydney as a part of the 2015 BEAMS Festival. This work is part of a body of work which examined the flow of water through the home as a metaphor for the body’s intertwining with the world beyond its visual grasp. It was produced following close observation of the everyday practice of showering. Below is an exert from Becky’s PhD Exegesis discussing this work:

“Presenting this shower homage outside on the streetscape inverted the privacy of the home’s interior and attempted to make visible otherwise obscured, yet material, relations between natural world and home.

Contemplating Dewey’s notion of aesthetic experience through my shower diary had revealed a transient integration of subject and space generated through the lived experience of showering. Reflecting on Standing in this River linked Damasio’s notion of embodied mapping with this generation of transient, subjective space.

Lived experiences, explains Crowther, are serial: the past informs present perception just as present experiences rewrite the meaning of past ones.[1] Culmination and final unity occur only through death, when the series can no longer be added to. The artwork, Crowther explains, fabricates individual experience into a more complete form independent of embodied chronology.[2] In this process, aspects of the original experience are exaggerated or idealised, understated or omitted.[3] This organisation of perception, I contend, operates not only in the work of art but also in ordinary experiences structured within distinct spaces: for example, when we step inside the shower cubicle or enter architecture like Fallingwater.”

[1] Paul Crowther, “The Aesthetic: From Experience to Art”, in Aesthetic Experience, ed. Richard Shusterman (New York: Routledge, 2008), 31–44.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Crowther, “The Aesthetic”.

The full exegesis can be found here:

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