Performance (Universiteit Maastricht)
Ben d' Armagnac, 1976, 20'24''

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This is one of the very few works that Ben d'Armagnac made specifically and directly for video. He normally regards the registration of his performances on video as a matter of secondary importance. And even in this work, the camera is only used to register, and is pointed statically at the artist's face and hands. D'Armagnac is opening and closing his hands to the pace of his own heavy breathing. The tension created by the accelerating rhythm of the action comes to a discharge when D'Armagnac starts to vomit. 'No more, no more', he keeps repeating. When he takes a drink of water from a glass jar, peace appears to have been restored. But after some time, the process starts all over again. D'Armagnac puts his fingers (almost his entire hand) into his mouth, to e able to vomit once more. 'It's over....over', he repeats afterwards.In this performance, one of the most physical of his career, D'Armagnac explores the inside of his body and the limits of physical endurance. This self-analysis borders on self-chastisement. Ben d'Armagnac believes in the need of an inner struggle to release ourselves from a rigidified life; a belief in the cleansing of the self before we can resume our lives with an open mind, and can taste freedom once more. 'Our fearful urge to seek the safety of the beaten track stops us from finding true freedom inside ourselves. The beaten track can be no more than an impulse towards self-development. Strength and freedom lie within ourselves.' Read more...

  • Date: 1976
  • Length: 20'24''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: performance (artwork genre), body art
  • Keywords: body, power, violence