1372549

2016

A performance which viewers experienced one at a time.  When it was their turn to enter the performance space, viewers were asked to take a deep breath, which they were asked to hold throughout their encounter with the work. Put simply, they could only stay in the gallery for as long as they could hold their breath. 

When a viewer entered, a performer would immediately switch on a lamp, revealing herself sitting next to a jug of water and a potted plant. The performer would then read aloud from a transcript of interviews that the artist completed prior to the performance, in which the artist asked subjects to describe the most exhausting experience they have ever had. The performer would occasionally stop reading to take a sip of water or to give some of her water to the plant. When a viewer could no longer hold their breath and began to leave the room, the performer would immediately stop reading and switch off the lamp.

The piece's title, 1372549, was created by calculating the number of human breaths it would take to fill the gallery space at Nahmad Projects, where the performance took place. 

All images courtesy of Nahmad Projects, London. Photos: Benedict Johnson.