Emma Alonze


New Studio Project Space


When we like something, we want to devour it. We want to eat it up or own it in someway. When people kiss they sort of lay claim to each other, when a dog passes a post it pisses on it. Body fluids can be used as a way to mark territory: a child licks the last piece of food on a plate to put her brother off from eating it.

In my work I often portray or parade everyday items or actions that have a short shelf-life. My approach to making work reflects something of flightiness of desire. Like an impulse-buy that, in time, can lose its appeal but is wonderful for a moment, I choose my materials from the everyday interactions between people and objects, setting up ambiguous relations that are light, yet on the brink of failed desire.

I want to lick all of the walls in New Studio.

In the context of desire, failure and ownership, and within the structures of the test site I would conduct a durational performance marking and enjoying the exhibition space with my tongue. Using non-toxic dyes my tongue’s movements will be traced along the walls and as time passes this will fade, as this is the case with applying food dye over emulsion. I predict from previous trials that the coloured traces will fully disappear in around 14 days. The space can be open to the public throughout the duration of the performance work, to observe and in some sense challenge my commitment to the task. Once the performance is complete the traces would remain on the walls for the duration of the exhibition.

I am intrigued to see the ways in which an artwork can exist without really existing, how it can appear and then disappear; artworks which exist momentarily. The traces will fade in a fortnight, the performance will stop once the walls are covered, and perhaps my desire to lay claim to the space, to devour and own it, will also fade before I complete the task. (Otherwise we’ll have a problem on our hands). Either way, I expect this meditation will be a communal reflection.