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I Stand In

Julie Vulcan
2013

An eight hour live work in honour of the forgotten, misplaced, unrecovered and removed

I Stand In reflects upon the difficulty of personally understanding and processing global human tragedy. We think we empathise but really we intellectualise. In this work 32 volunteer participants 'stand in' for a faceless individual while Julie consecutively attends to each one enacting a stylised 'corpse-washing' ritual. Over eight hours, the physical remains of the activity - oil imprinted shrouds - accumulate in the space as a ghostly testimony to the lost.

Media connectivity means we can no longer claim ignorance of world events but this awareness often leaves us feeling ineffective and powerless. This durational work focuses on how we can affect a more authentic response anchored in the here and now. By being a proxy, each participant puts a face to a number, a human presence to a concept and collectively returns the cold hard statistic of a death toll to the flesh and blood of an individual and what it means to be mortal. The audience connection with the artists touch on each individual body eventually transcends this ritual for the dead into a ritual for living.

Performed at SPILL Festival of Performance, Ipswitch UK, 2013

Ipswitch
United Kingdom
Images
by Michael Myers (1) and Pari Naderi (2-3)
I Stand In, SPILL Festival of Performance 2013, produced by Pacitti Company – via Vimeo