Breaking Through the Circle
Lydia Schouten, 1978, 14'02''

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In this performance (held in the presence of an audience), Lydia Schouten theatrically covers herself with tar and feathers. Dressed in ballet costume, she steps into a ring of feathers with a circle of tar in the middle. Like a dancing ballerina, she covers herself in tar, and then crawls around in the feathers. The association with Swan Lake is unavoidable. But equally evident is the interpretation that Schouten is making herself ridiculous, this being the traditional idea of covering someone with tar and feathers. When there is little left of both circles, Schouten walks to a wall on which small hearts have been hung in a spiral. One by one, Schouten destroys the hearts and removes them. For each heart, she uses a separate stick with a sharp point (an arrow). The vehemence with which she chops the hearts from the wall suggests dissatisfaction with love. This is confirmed by the fact that the hearts are hanging in the form of a spiral, and that she uses the arrows, not to pierce the hearts, but to destroy them.
Unlike her well-known works, which are conspicuous for the glaring colours of the d├ęcors and erotically tinted stories of fantasy, this work is a performance in which the aggression and the theatrical gesture are part of the action.
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  • Date: 1978
  • Length: 14'02''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA