Gestures in a room, 2015
Until I am there I will be there, 2015, The Lock-Up
For the installation Until I am there I will be here, Lottie Consalvo projects a life size window on one wall of a darkened cell, while from the ceiling drips a scented liquid.
The window is an irruption of the artist’s desires in this: a window she imagines that looks out from a room she has not been to, and longs for nonetheless.
Falling scent brings the structure of memory to mind, whereby the past is reconstructed to exist as it never was.
In this way, Consalvo exploits the tension between nostalgia and longing to capture our failure to be present, and to purely exist in time and space that is.
This installation is a model of the imaginary facility through which we seek the present, rendered all the more intense during a time of falling and longing. As we fail to find comfort in the present, the past and future become a place of escape.
Ideas around presence and the passing of time are common in Consalvo’s work, where longing and desire, hope for possibility and the futile sense so often part of anticipation of contentedness are carefully explored.
Text by Dr Benjamin J Matthews
‘I mouthed I love you’, 2014, Lake Macquarie Gallery
The artist mouths ‘I love you’ backwards, silently and repetitively. Through this simple action this performance attempts to relive a moment prior to a great loss.
There is a broken chair and table and a flight of butterflies lay upon the table unmoving, dead.
The butterfly has an average lifespan of two weeks. The experience of witnessing a butterfly in flight is akin to its very existence; beautiful yet fleeting.
In this work the artist is recalling a temporal fragment of a private tragedy.
Contemplating regret and the futility of a moment now passed. There are some actions that cannot be undone. Longing and failure are present within this performance as splinters and fractures of something that is too difficult to comprehend.
Near your sorrow – Enduring Parallels performance art exhibition, The Lock-Up, Newcastle 2014
Photo: Jamieson Moore
In this performance the artist attempts to inhabit a space that is present with something that has passed, a futile pursuit to reunify a time and place that has gone.
For 17 hours the artist sang along with a recording of a loved one who has passed away, singing together in harmony but very much apart.
This performance is about the incomprehensibility of the loss of something so great. A longing that can never be cured, a love and loss that can never be fully grasped; the attempt to find a place where the present and past can exist together, an inevitable impossibility.
Until distance passes – TINY STADIUMS, Sydney 2014
In this performance the artist contemplates distance and the tension between how one passes time and the inability to control it or make it move more quickly when in a state of urgency.
Despair, unease and longing are present here and are represented as fragments and fractures of something that is almost impossible to be determined or cured.
In this performance the artist will remain still, questioning the ability to be present when one is in a state of desperation and longs to be elsewhere and beyond this moment, place and time.
In an attempt to re-stage and endure this disposition, elements of both comfort and discomfort are displayed in an attempt to frame the sense of both hopelessness and desire.
It’s too early to love you: music torture piece – ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney 2014
photo documentation by Sarah Mosca
A 9hour performance
For the performance ‘It’s too early to love you’, Lottie Consalvo will endure music torture for a duration of nine hours. Sitting in a small, austere room on a solitary chair, the artist will be exposed to the uninterrupted sound of her mother singing the Sesame Street theme song ‘Sunny Days’. The song will be played on loop from speakers facing in on the artist for the nine hour duration of the performance work which investigates psychological states of trauma from a domestic and political viewpoint.
Through her research, Consalvo examined the psychological effects of prolonged exposure to sound. She researched the infliction of music torture in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib where prisoners had been deliberately exposed to western songs like ‘Sunny Days’ for extended periods of time in order to provoke fear, stress, helplessness and trauma. She also investigated occurrences of severe sleep deprivation and extreme distress in parents due to the repeated and prolonged sound of inconsolable newborns crying. Although both are very different experiences, what they share is the outcome of inducing an individual into a state where they feel so emotionally, cognitively, and physically overwhelmed that they are unable to cope.
Consalvo’s core concern is the mind and it’s relationship with the body and the physical world. Her performances show her undergoing a psychological change in real time, giving it physical presence though never tangible.
Compartmentalise – a year long performance
REFER TO MY BLOG www.compartmentalise.wordpress.com
Compartmentalise, a year long performance that started on the 7th of August 2013, ends 7th August 2014
I am living with minimal possessions for 1year. 2tops, 2pants, 1dress, 3underwear…, 1knife, 1fork, etc. The rest of my belongings will be put into jars and meticulously labeled over the year.
The idea was conceived after the birth of my son. I had lost control over my time, my home, my life. I started buying jars to put the contents of my pantry into. I became obsessed with the satisfaction of putting things from one container into another. I was trying to control my things to feel a sense of control in my life.
The Theory – By removing and categorising the excess clutter in my life, my mind will be less cluttered and chaotic. If I don’t have to make mundane and meaningless decisions in my domestic life there will be the time and space to be present and focus on my art practice.
The bird catcher 2013 (video)
30minute single shot video, Burwood beach, Newcastle
THE DRINKWATERS – photo series
Steer a steady ship, 2012, Damien Minton Gallery Sydney
Steer a steady ship – Sydney Oct2012 (the artist lay on a bed under a boat dripping black liquid on her forehead for seven hours)
The weight of the physical mind – Leipzig International Art Programme 2011
photo documentation of live performance
Black feet – Leipzig 2011 (sound by Tina Stefanou. Performed at the Leipzig International Art programme)
photo documentation and stills from video of live performance