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 7.06 – Sunset 18.46. On Sterling Silver Plate, Letter Format 30 x 21,5 cm. Venue The Dominican Republic Performance Festival: Independence.
The Mind Marking Breath.
Wake up at
I dress in a silver shirt; Puerto Plata means silver harbor. This is also the reason the plate is silver. I stay in a flat with Eliu and Jessica. They also have a dog …… There are always lots of sounds in the morning and the rooster crows. The flat is by the ocean and I hear the waves come and go.
Eliu insisted in following me to the gallery. He’s not awake yet and I start to worry about if he forgot to set the alarm. I hear the waves from the sea it’s dark only the moon is shining.
Eliu is up – he makes hot chocolate and we are ready to go. We are both quiet, still tired. We walk by the road next to the oceans. I hear the waves. They bring in lots of dirt from the ocean leaving the beach in a mess – lots of clothes, bottles and plastic. I look at the moon in front stands the church in silhouette. We enter the gallery. The space is empty. Only a table and a chair. I will sit there for the next 12 hours. I always think of the work like a long meditation upon accepting the fact that we are and will always be inside yourselves. No matter what, this is the fact. Then I fool myself during the day and go flying with my mind. I go home to Denmark, I say hey to my loves ones, I fly over mountains and waters only to land at my desk always breathing – in and out. Like the waves. Giving life and stamina to whatever life brings or not brings.
I think of hopes. I think of my friend who is a yogi. He always says give up your past to give up your fears and give up your future to give up your hopes. In this way you can live in present. I connect with the breath like the bridge between the mind and the body. Always coming back.
Eliu is sitting in the window. He sometimes films and takes photos. It’s getting lighter and warmer. I hear the kids on their way to school. I smell food. I didn’t eat so much for two days, I never do up to the performance.
People enter the gallery, they walk quiet. Whisper to each other. Stand still looking at me. I feel their energy. I mark, listening to my own breathing. I disappear in nothingness. They are gone again. Eliu is gone. I’m alone, only Alberto the owner of the gallery is there in the back. I hear him. I mark. I think about this place, this performance festival. Some of the other performance artist arrives in the gallery. I travel, fly away to places I have been; mountains and Vulcans, oceans and lakes. I fly fast around the world. My mind is restless. I wonder why, why rush? I have everything. I can just relax and mark. That’s all, it’s easy and yet so hard and difficult at times. Some people sit around the gallery, they observe, relax, maybe they meditate. Space. I hear the conference at the other side of the street. It’s part of the performance festival. It’s in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish. I mark. A girl is entering the gallery, I catch a glimpse of her. She’s wearing a school uniform. She takes lots of photos,
The kids are off school, two school classes entering the gallery. They surround the table. It’s getting really warm and very intense. All the kids are looking at me marking, they stay focused for a while, shift spaces with each other. I wonder what they might think, they go again. I’m alone.