A young woman wakes up next to a luminous object in a vast, extremely dark room full of mirrors. She realises that she lies on the surface of black water. Then, she discovers another woman sleeping on the water. She wakes her up. In the middle of the dark space, the two start to interact with the object.
A young woman wakes up next to a luminous object in a vast, extremely dark room full of mirrors. She realises that she lies on the surface of black water. Then, she discovers another woman sleeping on the water. She wakes her up. In the middle of the dark space, the two start to interact with the object. The object, which is an oversized toy giraffe, continues to act. The young woman tries to wake up but the giraffe continues to act. They have a fight, in which the girl is dragged to safety by the adult. The adult finally breaks the water by pushing her head onto the water, which breaks her fall and causes her to drown. The adult, at the age of 18, has to witness this fatal fall. She watches as the child swims from a great height to a smaller one, until the child reaches safety and the adult returns to the small pool, laughing and giddy.The works that characterize the space of the dream are repetitious. Theres no narrative. The artists create the space of the dream; the public itself is the star. The exhibitions first room of the gallery contained drawings, placed on plastic-covered shelves around a narrow white space that was also large enough for the films that were screened there. In the film, the characters stand around the suspended, inverted giraffe. The movie is set in the same room that the streetlight was. In the film, the giraffe is seen from the bottom of the stairs, which the artist has removed so that it will not be blocked by the camera. The giraffe walks and hops over the cracks of the stairs, trying to jump into the movie. In the movie, she jumps from the top of the stairs, but ends up falling down again. The child who was the center of the exhibition, played by the artist and a voice-over narrator, appears in a situation that could be either playful or deadly. The giraffe is trying to reach safety. It is a situation that could lead to dangerous collision and the young woman, who was suspended at the bottom of the stairs, has to pull herself out of it. The giraffe is crushed by the stairs and falls into the movie. The child is stuck in a vulnerable position.
A young woman wakes up next to a luminous object in a vast, extremely dark room full of mirrors. She realises that she lies on the surface of black water. Then, she discovers another woman sleeping on the water. She wakes her up. In the middle of the dark space, the two start to interact with the object. She swings it off her bed. She wipes it away. She casts a look around the room. Then she looks at the object and realizes that the water is still under her pillow, in the back of a car. She wakes up. They have a conversation. She asks if the water is still under her pillow and if it is her. The object is no longer under her pillow. They begin to play with it. She puts the pillow under her arm. She wants to understand what is happening. They ask if she is alright. She answers that it is not her idea to play with it. She tells them that they will be during the run. When the artist has left the room, the two wake up and begin to interact with the object, washing it and putting it back in the process of cleaning up. They begin to play with the object again. She smiles. They start to pull it out of the bed. She gives it back. The two of them play with the object. She picks it up and begins to play with it. They begin to pull it into the room. She tells them that the object is not part of the work. They start to move it around. She tells them that it is an untitled object. She explains to them that it was found in the room and that it is going to be removed from the room and put in a box. They pull it out of the box. She tells them that it is not her idea to leave it there and that they will be talking about it when they come back. She assures them that it will be. She tells them that she will be. They have a few minutes of enjoyment before the object is removed. She tells them that she will take it with her to the next room. She also promises to make it available to them when they come back. The two of them leave the room. One of them tells the other of what has happened.
The two create a sort of muddle: the woman shimmers her eyes, the object a swarm of flies. This scene is repeated in several other scenes: in a still from a video, a two-year-old boy crawls up on his fathers knee, staring at his mother. The scene shifts as the viewer walks by and sees the adult child trying to touch his mothers leg, revealing the newborns blackened heart.The title of the video, By this river, is a line from a song by the German band Current. But why? Surely with this footage, like a manga character, all confusion disappears. The artist, who has worked in video and performance since the mid-1980s, knows exactly what shes doing. She sets off a fierce stream of action that transforms the mundane into the wild, and that turns everyday objects into wild forms.
The man lies on top of her. She leans over him. The woman spreads out a piece of paper on the floor. On it, she has written the names and addresses of everyone who has ever been injured by this catastrophe. This is the beginning of the end of things. The woman calls all the paramedics. The paramedic takes her in his arms. She gives him a stack of paper. The artist, in a deadpan voice, recounts her experiences, which she subsequently repurposes into an artwork. The paper, which is held in place by an oversize rubber band, is tapered in a different way. As the paper ages, it becomes visible through its shape. It is fragmented and stretched over the roots of a tree. The artist then paints the art by transferring the process to plaster. The painting lasts about a year. There are many attempts to make it into a work, and it keeps getting stuck. The artist relies on her knowledge of the work of others, her experience as a paramedic, and her dreams of becoming an artist, which she might one day have. It was something for her to decide in advance. In this respect, her art is both hard and easy. The work of a painter as a medic is different from that of a painter who has to carry the burden of a catastrophe. The artist knows that she can become a part of something.The work is one of the most recent manifestations of Iris Peris work, which has always been much less interesting than the work of other artists who have taken a similar attitude to suffering. As it stands, Peris art has remained simple and private. The works in this show are still out of her control. The only clear statement is in a string of notes that she makes to the medics. The artist continues to monitor her own progress.
A young woman wakes up next to a luminous object in a vast, extremely dark room full of mirrors. She realises that she lies on the surface of black water. Then, she discovers another woman sleeping on the water. She wakes her up. In the middle of the dark space, the two start to interact with the object. She drinks. Then, with a knowing look, she removes her clothes and lies on the water, soaking wet, her hair revealing a pair of high heels. This is the scene of a crime. A boy, also sleeping, appears on the other side of the room. He awakens his wife. She takes off her underwear. Then, with a knowing glance, she removes her dress. The two boys step out of the bed, not clothed. One boy points a finger at the other. They then look at one another. The scene is repeated. This scene ends with a boy, the other boy, also naked, pointing his finger at the first. This sequence continues with another boy. This scene ends with another one, another boy, and a third boy. The whole sequence continues until the last scene is completed. It is an ambiguous sexual scene, in which no action takes place. The viewer has the feeling that the action has just ended.This ambivalence is balanced by a central conflict. The boys have been photographed while asleep. They are currently engaged in sexual acts. The boys are in the process of waking up. They pull off their undershirts. They give their partner a kiss. They awaken. Then, they see each other, and it is a little scene of intimacy. They take turns with the object. They make love. And then the work abruptly ends. The viewer thinks that the sex has just ended. In fact, there is only one more scene, this time in the bathroom. The object is naked. One boy sits on the toilet. The other two, standing behind him, watch the scene. They do nothing. It is the same scene in the scene in the gallery. Yet this time it is the same room that contains the photographs. The boys are still naked. It is a scene of intimacy. Yet the scenes that has just ended cannot be reconciled with the one that begins.