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Clare Carswell  

visual artist, U.K.

AXIS, a performance by Clare Carswell Serpentine Gallery,London, 1991.
Duration: 30 minutes

This work was performed by five heavily pregnant women. The work used the Serpentine Gallery as a physical instrument. The women performed in the West gallery whilst in the East gallery the audience were confronted by rows of stripped illuminated globes. The women performed movements and gestures they used as active birth preparation for the birth of their babies. The actions and objects described features of duality, male and femaleness, which are differentiated and reunited, coagulated and dissolved in the process of living. The separate energies that existed in the East & West galleries were in counterpoise, using the audience moving between the two as it's fulcrum point.

AXIS, a performance by Clare Carswell Serpentine Gallery, London, 1991.

Endless Devotion, performance by Clare Carswell in the Museum of Modern Art Oxford, and the Serpentine Gallery, London, 1990.
Duration 1 hour, 30 minutes.

A mother and daughter face each other and attempt to communicate by gesture across a sea of objects. The objects - 100 dinner plates, act as a sign of a domestic world and the endless repetition of the presence and touch of women who inhabit it. Each plate holds a heart-shaped piece of ice which is frozen writing ink. These objects act as a barrier between the two women and yet also hold them united. The work explores the signs and language of contact and alienation. It refers to the unspoken association and devotion of mother and daughter, one to another. The gestures made, intimate and personal to each, act as semaphores of identity and age whilst emphasising the distance between them. Their common humanity is obscured by their inability to communicate. The work moves through a series of disjointed emotional postures to an understanding of their common tongue and the frailty of its expression.

See more of Clare's work at:


Arts Dialogue, Dintel 20, NL 7333 MC, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands