Disillusionary Hommage to Clovis Trouille

1966 Beek en Donk, Netherlands
Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Tjebbe van Tijen

    Slides of paintings by the French surrealist Clovis Trouille (1889–1975) were projected over the buttocks of a plaster replica of the central female figure in his painting Mes Funérailles (1940). This sculpture protruded out of a paper projection screen that was also decorated to look like the funeral scene in the same painting. During the performance long lengths of inflatable polythene tubing, which could be handled by the audience, extended out into the room and tore the paper screen open.

    For its performance in London, the central figure was a woman wearing a specially made, oversized white elastic costume, inside of which numerous large balloons were attached at different positions around her body. Transparent plastic tubes fixed to those balloons came out of this costume through a round hole at the position of the wearer’s pudenda. These extended into the audience, whose members could thereby inflate and burst the balloons inside her costume. As a result the bodily shape and projection surface of the female figure at the centre of the projection screen was transformed interactively by the enlargement and bursting of these balloons against her skin.

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