The definition of living art is “Artists who have, […] made performance the basis of a life, turned their bodies or lives into works of art, or sought to cultivate performance art as a grammar to articulate the possible dissolution of sensible boundaries of art and life.” (Johnson, D. 2015). At this point I classify my work as living art, and this is the basis of my life – continuously showcasing my embodiment of BISECT. Within my practice/life I increased the level of commitment to presenting as two halves of a whole; I did this by favoring using ‘I’ over ‘we’ to describe my two bodies, wearing matching outfits every single day and doing all everyday activities together.
The first piece of work that I understood to be ‘living art’ would be Singing Sculptures by Gilbert&George – as seen in figure 10 the artists paint themselves in metallic paint and act as living sculptures. I explored this notion of living sculpture though my long exposure photography. Figure 11 is a piece of work that I produced in response to Singing Sculptures in my second year, the image was taken using long exposure to capture my performative action of a modified pirouette. At this point, I was still in denial about being a live performance artist – so I used a single photograph to represent my performances of when I became my art. Long exposure photography means the lens is open for longer, therefore capturing movement within a still image. Using this style photography allowed me to capture a-minute-long performance, which is visible through the blurred layers of activity. Like Gilbert&George I would become a living sculpture but only for the camera and not an audience. The aspect of living art was something I wanted to adapt further into my third year.
During the first lockdown in the UK, my two bodies were away from each other and this was something I didn’t feel prepared to do when returning to University. My two bodies decided the best option moving forward was to move in together and start doing everything fully as one identity. This was a hard adjustment to make during this semester, not for me personally but for those around me. My two bodies do everything together; sleep together, eat the same foods and go the bathroom together. This wasn’t easy for my two bodies respective families to accept because it was a foreign concept to them. Previously, I spent most of my time elsewhere living as art, but now my family were exposed to it more directly. At points it made physical work production difficult, however regardless of these difficulties it was still better than if my bodies would have been apart.
Visually, one of the most important actions in my practice is wearing matching clothing. Taking it to an absolute extremity my two bodies exclusively wear matching underwear, clothing, shoes, coats and accessories. The only asymmetry that I actively choose is the different colour of eyebrows; however, everything else is kept meticulously the same including my bodies cutting their hair the same length. Everything that I do was inspired by “Wherever we are is museum” (Eva&Adele, 1999), because it changed my perspective on where/how art can exist. I understood this quote as Eva&Adele defining themselves as the artwork, and because of this any setting they are in is the museum setting. As a result, they don’t need to contextualise themselves within a typically gallery space, anywhere they go is the museum. Eva&Adele themselves were the main reason I started wearing matching outfits. I like to think that wearing the same clothes visually connects my two bodies; it is a simple way of showing my identity of BISECT to everyone around me, just like how Eva&Adele similarly show their connection.