Ice Mitten, 2003

Nuuk, Sisimiut, Assaqutaq; Greenland


‘Ice Mitten’ was a series of performances for small audiences in Nuuk, (Greenland’s capital), Sisimiut and Assaqutaq, a largely abandoned settlement inside the Arctic Circle. Artist Jessie Kleemann had summoned a pack of the ‘Wolf in the Winter’ performance collective (see collaborations section) to tour her native Greenland.
I made works drawing on a theme of ‘gain’ as set against ‘loss’: a heavy block of ice encasing my hand forces the strength in my arm to melt; the juice of halved onions tied to my face dissolves into the induced tears.
As the tour proceeded, garnering sensational reports in the national Inuit language newspaper, the ‘Wolves’ collective came full upon its mirrored reflection in the form of a community audience on Assaqutaq, a tiny island reached by an hour’s speedboat ride. Improvising a group performance, the wind swirled around us in the sink of the island’s natural auditorium as the audience lolled around the ridge of the bowl, laughing at our antics in familiarity across time and cultures as we echoed their own performance menagerie of cosmic trampolinists, wolf-masked idiot-dancers and bondaged spirit-throwers.

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