Australian Video Art Archive

Sarah crowEST


Winifred. Activity 1 (reduction of form)

00:09:15 2007

Winifred, the seemingly serious, controlled, stiff and starchy alter ego of Sarah crowEST attempts the sculptural work of reducing mass. The camera operator, as audience, makes his presence felt and steps into a directorial role as the performer loses her grip on the situation.

Katrina Simmons describes Winifred with “her severe black bob, black-framed glasses and white lab-style coat……With red lips she seems efficient and productive, busily carrying out certain ‘experiments’. Initially these appear banal but soon a kind of perversity presents itself, as in one task where she attempts to consume an entire chocolate cake in one sitting. Pleasure and delight progress incrementally towards an uncomfortable self-enforced nausea as each slice is painstakingly downed. It is awkward, disconcerting and masochistic. Poise is hard to maintain and she knows it, her smile is sickly.” (from the exhibition catalogue for Agglomeration at Canberra Contemporary Art Centre, 2007)

Winifred unwittingly set herself up as a failure as an endurance performance artist. Heavy, rich, fair-trade organic chocolate, cocoa and wholemeal flour were used to produce this overly heavy, dense cake which made the reduction of form by ingestion extremely challenging.

Activity 1 is from a series documenting sculpture as a dynamic act which are usually presented as part of a video installation.

DVD available