Marking Breath. Miami. 24 February. 2015.

Sophie Dupont’s Performance ‘Marking Breath’ explores the ritual repetition of the most important and simple action in life: breathing. With breathing as the starting point of the work the barrier between art and life is reduced. The work depends on breathing like the further existence does. Concentrating on this one single action for a long time creates a feeling of freedom: ‘When all I focus on is my breath, I override any thoughts on the superficial elements of our modern lives: status, economy, education etc’. The work is meditative and reductive in form and content exploring the discrete/invisible sign of presence and existence, breath, and transforming it into physical/visible marks. The duration of the performance is as usual from sunrise to sunset.
The performance contains no plot, no story, no narrative progression – only body, breath, marks and time. As every evanescent breath will be transformed into a physical mark on a material that relates to the specific country or place: copper, leather, zinc etc., this can be read as a proof of my existence on this specific day as well as a documentation of the performance.
The shapes of the marks will be characterized by spontaneity and deliberate imperfections, which reflect human nature and spirituality. The works will be similar but different, leading our minds to the small differences that inevitably occur even when we try to repeat and copy very simple actions.

Duration: Sunrise 6.56 am – Sunset 6.09 pm. Gold plated copper plate. 25 x 25 cm. Venue: Frost Art Museum, Miami. Video editing by Christine Løkkebø.

Miami Marking Breath 24 feb 2015 sunrise 6.56 am-sunset 6.09 pm at The Frost Art Museum.

 

/ Michael drives me –it’s first time outside

/ weather is nice

/ I sit on the porch outside the museum

/ already lots of traffic noise

/ there is a fog and it’s floating

/ birds sing

/ an owl is singing

/ people going to school

/ still alone in the space

/ the wind is nice

/ I’m very focused

/ the plate shines so much because it’s gold-plated – I see my reflection in the plate

/ not many thoughts

/ I’m quiet, my mind is still

/ the door to the museum opens. I hear people talking nearby

/ the fountain is turned on. I enjoy the sound of water

/ more people are coming

/ they look at my work

/ they read the information

/ I don’t look up – I never do

/ I stay focused

/ there is a group of people who are discussing politic. I hear them talk about Obama

/ they leave to go into the museum

/ it’s quiet again

/ birds come – Black birds. They have found candy. There are two of them.

/ a squirrel crawls onto the terrace

/ it moves in staccato

/ it disappears

/ I disappear in the mark making

/ I just mark. Time passes in space

/ eyes looking right at me – it’s the squirrel. It has run under my table and looks up at me

/ we make eye contact for a moment, then it runs off

/ it runs to the edge of the terrace – looks out at the trees, the grass and the little pond

/ I mark. I look at the squirrel. It jumps out and grabs a branch

/ it’s gone. Again I’m alone

/ I mark. No thoughts

/ people come. They talk, like people do. I hear they talk about the exhibition inside with Xubing

/ I met him two days ago, he’s a nice man

/ I look at the pond. There is a bird, It has been there for a while, stretching its wings and its long neck reaches up to the sky. It keeps this pose for the longest time

/ I enjoy being outside

/ it’s windy and I’m sitting in the shadow under the parasol

/ it’s a warm day

/ a person is taking a lot of photos

/ I’m thinking about, whether next time I should ask people not to take photos

/ I’m not sure. I’m undecided

/ suddenly the door opens and I hear foot steps, someone is walking towards me

/ a man comes right up to me and exclaims (in Danish) “sidder du nu der igen (are you sitting there again)?”. I don’t look up, but I cannot help but smile. I mark my breath. He asks “er det forbudt at tale til dig (am I not supposed to speak to you)?” I don’t look up. I mark

/ the lady taking the photos informs him of the concept

/ he walks away saying “måske kommer jeg tilbage senere (maybe I’ll come back later)”

/ I feel strange, like I offended him in some way

/ I mark and let the thought pass

/ more people are coming. High heals, click clack click clack

/ the light is very bright

/ I feel safe in my spot

/ more people. They talk about my work

/ I sense that there are people around me – they sit

/ it’s different outside – more open

/ I mark, just mark

/ the bird is still by the pond. It has been there for a long time

/ but we don’t know how long. Neither of us have any idea how much time has passed

/ time is so important today. Everything has a time frame. It’s like time fixates things in space, so everything isn’t just floating around

/ I somehow like time, whatever that means

/ maybe I’m a little bit of a control freak

/ I think about the people I have met

/ It’s those meetings in life that are so important, meeting people from different places and cultures

/ the way we live and approach life is all about habit

/ lots of noise because of the traffic

/ lots of noise from the airplanes too.

/ and the sound from the fountain, water hitting water

/ the sun is closing in on me

/ the wind is blowing

/ makes my hair look a mess

/ I must look strange

/ the sun is setting

/ starts to shine right on my face

/ I face the sunset

/ like we all face death in a way

/ as it sets, I have to hold a hand up to protect my face

/ people come

/ I don’t know what the time is, but I know there is not a lot of time left

/ I start to get impatient

/ my left leg is falling asleep

/ Michael and the kids come. They say “hi Sophia, hi hi hi”

/ but I just mark. I don’t like this, not being able to say hello to them

/ I want the sun to set

/ I mark

/ just accept that time is passing very slowly. Just accept foreverness

/ I think about foreverness. It’s too much for my mind to comprehend

/ the alarm rings

/ I put down my tool

/ the kids run towards me

/ this is the best ending to a pe