'' Broken glasses | A history of performance art on the Riviera from 1951 until now

Broken glasses

Performance type: 
Free tags: 
Elisabeth Morcellet
Elisabeth Morcellet
Jeanne Gatard
Elisabeth Morcellet
Theoretical background: 
Starting date: 
06 30 1980
20 minutes

action présentée pour le passage du diplôme du D.N.S.E.P devant un jury composé de quatre personnes

20 avenue Stephen Liégeard

Preparation: Presentation space in a large “L”-shaped room of which the first section, the long one, was used, approximately 21m x 4m. The installation also included trunks and suitcases, in which documents, a trousseau and other artistic pieces were stored...Four meters from the entrance, blocking one’s vision, hung a curtain made of love letters sewn together. Eight meters further, a great rectangular canvas, unbleached, 25m x 2.3m, covered the ground. A “dress,” an imprint / shroud of the body, was laid out at its beginning, with a unfolded red dress to the side, brown leather gladiator sandals, and finally, the bed/recumbent figure. A second square unbleached canvas, 2.3m x 2.3m, at the corner of the “L,” the very bottom, is the main site of action. A standing light projector targets this square. On both sides of the square canvas, 23 wine glasses, ordinary wine glasses of the type found in bistros, are aligned at equal distance. In this same corner, a projector will show slides of white and black self-portraits against the white wall, before and after shaving my head. Additionally, a standing videocamera linked to the VCR will record the action mechanically.

Action: Clothed in a white cloth/canvas (from the trousseau) with a chain, and barefoot, I cross the entrance, the curtain of letters, and go towards an electrical outlet located to the right of the large rectangular canvas. All the technological apparatus turns on: slide projector, videocamera, lights. I walk slowly, skirting the rectangular canvas, on the right, heading towards the center of the square. Stiffly, sitting, or standing (?) I await the arrival of the jury in my space. Then I start to undo each link of my garment. I place it flat on the square. A white rectangle on the background of a white square. Naked, I methodically take each wine glass and, twenty-three times, I break the object. This creates a crystalline concert of glasses breaking, bouncing against the jury’s feet. I have no memory of cutting or injuring myself. Then, this time taking the left side of the large rectangle, my back to the jury, I reach the place where the red dress lies. I put it on, still slowly. I put the gladiator sandals on my feet and I get up. I turn off the outlet with different connections. The action is finished.