Marking Breath, NEW STUDIO, London. Saturday 18 April 2015.

In ‘Marking Breath’ Dupont puts the act of breathing – an action that unites us all – at the centre of the work. From sunrise to sunset, the artist sits silently at a table. At each exhale she carves a line into a small metal panel positioned in front of her. This self-contained performance consists of nothing more than a single, repetitive act of recording. Seemingly subtle and simple, this performance is neither; it requires an extraordinary degree of restraint and endurance – a determined act of rebellion against the frenetic, stimulated society in which many of us live.

Marking Breath, Saturday 18 April 2015, 5:57 am – 8:02 pm (sunrise to sunset), performed at NEW STUDIO, London. Silver postcard seize panels. Photos by Lorna Milburn.

2015.04.18 The Mind Marking Breath London at NEW STUDIO. Sunrise 5.57 am – sunset 8.02 pm. Silver panels postcard size. Participatory. People can take part by marking their breath on a postcard-sized piece of paper.

/ Are you ready? My friend in Mexico City texts me at 5.30 am. He is ready to participate. He’s on a roof top
/ My mind is blurry – out of focus
/ It’s like a cloud
/ All thoughts and no thoughts
/ No focus
/ I mark
/ It’s cold
/ Dim lighting
/ The door is open
/ I do The One Minute Breath trying to keep warm
/ I think of my friend in Mexico – there it’s warm
/ I think of my friend in Miami. She’s marking too
/ I put the heater closer to me
/ And my friends in Rome and Denmark
/ I can feel the warm air from the heater on my left side
/ My mind is a mess. Like an untidy house. Everything is lying on top of everything
/ Thoughts come and go like a breath, like waves, like clouds
/ The mind cannot relax, it gets hyperactive
/ It starts to produce fictive artworks with peacock feathers
/ I mark
/ I think of the Carol Bove exhibition I saw yesterday at David Swirner

/ I breathe easily
/ I’m getting warmer
/ It has been said that in order to live, we must first learn to die. I wonder if it’s true?
/ There is a form of meditation called ‘Death Meditation’
/ Giving up desires and attachments
/ Poppy joins in. She sits on the bench by the wall
/ I get more focused. I like it, like to share my work
/ I think of the people in Miami, Rome, Mexico and Denmark.
/ My mind slows down
/ The doorbell rings – the cameraman comes in. I like his cologne; fresh, as though he just got out of the shower. I never look at people. But I sense, smell and listen
/ I enjoy this other kind of presence
/ They drink coffee. I love coffee
/ I breathe
/ It’s getting brighter
/ I have six panels of silver in postcard format
/ They are lying on the table together with Poppy’s Marking Breath
/ The light comes from above
/ The cameraman shoots his film from different angles. I feel like I’m being watched
/ I stretch my neck and look out of the window above me
/ Next breath
/ Between breaths, everything happens
/ More people come. I smell perfumes and see shoes
/ All my panels are here with me. Memories from around the world
/ Life; lived life
/ The light shines on the silver postcard panels and is reflected in my eyes
/ I wonder about my friends – who’s marking?
/ I wonder about the people in the gallery marking with me: how do they feel?
/ Some stay for a long time, some only for a brief moment
/ Some people sit down at my table and I notice their rhythm
/ We all have our own rhythm
/ Maybe we can change our rhythm by breathing differently
/ I love life and sometimes I hate life
/ In a strange way I find life so incredibly cruel; we know nothing. We hardly know ourselves. We think we do, but really we don’t. We are so busy running and then soon it’ll all be over. But we do not know when and what will happen
/ I have a secret piece where I have set the time of my own death
/ I’m obsessed with life and death
/ Lived life
/ One postcard has been filled out and between breaths I start on another
/ More people come
/ A phone rings
/ I wonder what the time is
/ Sometimes I feel as though time has stopped
/ Never will I reach sunset
/ But I know for sure that the sun will set
/ Time passes and all will come to an end. The performance, this week, this month, this year and this life
/ What about the soul? Do we have one? Then what?
/ I smell my friend’s perfume. But I do not hear her voice
/ I hear voices whispering
/ Poppy is explaining the piece. I feel safe. She explains that people are welcome to join in and how she felt marking
/ The photographer comes
/ She snaps pictures from all angles
/ I hear the train from far away
/ People talk about the weather
/ It’s nice outside
/ The light comes in
/ I think of my peacock piece. It has to be an entrance in peacock feathers, where people walk on sand and their face is being brushed by seven-meters of feathers. Like being cleansed by feathers. The peacock is a bird of transformation
/ I wonder about everything and nothing
/ I mark
/ More people mark
/ The table is covered in marked postcards
/ I really love it. It makes sense
/ We share a breath. We share life
/ It’s precious. Never take it for granted
/ Dimmed lighting
/ The feeling of “foreverness” starts to kick in
/ I know this moment. Time to surrender
/ I surrender to life. To being. No more. No less
/ Five cards have been filled out. One more
/ I hope there is enough space
/ There is a baby
/ A girl comes and sits with me
/ My heart starts beating faster
/ Her energy is aggressive
/ She starts writing on the card
/ I mark, stay focused. Her energy is intense, and sort of forced upon me
/ She folds her arms. I feel her staring
/ Then she grabs the pencil and starts marking or writing, I don’t know
/ She smells of alcohol
/ I get tired. My hand is shaking
/ From repeatedly marking
/ Foreverness, I love you and I hate you
/ Space, vast space
/ I have space enough for everything; love, hate, fear, anger, joy, obsession. Whatever it takes to be a human. Not an animal, not an Angel
/ The girl leaves the table. She laughs
/ More people come
/ It’s dark. I look up at the window above me
/ Between breaths I stretch
/ My neck hurts
/ Space and time
/ People are restless
/ I give up
/ The alarm rings


5,5 filled out silver postcards panels and 33 paper ones from the people who have been by throughout the day.
At home I find a postcard with marked breaths from all around the world