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Disillusion of a Fish Pond

1967 London, England
Coauthor: Tjebbe van Tijen

Disillusion of a Fish Pond was one of three performances made during the exhibition This Is No Thing—This Is a Situation of Opportunity, at the Kingly Street Gallery in London.

A naked woman loosely swathed in cotton wool bandages sat at the edge of a large indoor fishpond, her feet embedded in a thick, opaque yellow jelly that almost filled the pond. Above her a number of white balloons filled with liquid hung suspended from the ceiling.

The film Continuous Sound and Image Moments (1966) was projected down onto the surface of the jelly. Polythene tubing laid on the floor of the pond was slowly inflated with air and smoke, causing the jelly to gradually rise and crack open.

During this process of inflation, a masked figure used a razor to cut open, one by one, the white balloons that were hanging over the seated woman. Each balloon that was burst released a gush of bright yellow liquid that soaked into the woman’s cotton wool bandages and caused them to gradually slide off her body.

The tubing continued to inflate up out of the pond, pushing itself into the audience, who then dragged this viscous jelly-coated plastic all around the room. When the viewers punctured the polythene by rough handling, jets of white smoke came out of the holes, which then created another medium for the ongoing film projection to be seen on.

Exhibition Record

1967/2/27 - 3/20:  This is no Thing - This is a Situation of Opportunity, 26 Kingly Street Gallery, London, England