Performance in the Airspace Gallery, 2009 (Stoke on Trent, England)
During the opening weekend of the British Ceramic Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent, I worked for two hours in a clay floor, as a performance, in the gallery where the Marl Hole film was shown. The remaining piece became part of the exhibition.
Stacey Booth: "Alexandra Engelfriet created a performance which involved manipulating the clay with only her body
and the aid of water to wet the clay. This was very intense as she recreated the techniques
used in the Marl Hole film. To be confronted with what you had viewed on a screen and to
see how the material reacted in the flesh certainly put things into perspective. Even though
the area of the clay which she was manipulating was on a minute scale compared to the
quarry, you realise just how exhausting working with such a material in this way is. As the
clay become wet and sticky, Alexandra had to fight with the material to free herself ready for
her next move. As the performance progressed you could see the fatigue consuming her as
well as the material covering more and more of her body resulting in an epic struggle; again
symbolising with the pottery industry and the struggles which it faced in its later years being
consumed by capitalism and eventually being exported abroad to allow greater profits."
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