Is a site-specific installation for En Residencia and commissioned by Laboral, Ciudad de la Cultura, Gijon, Asturias Northern Spain and Welsh Arts Council. The installation and dance piece for FOREST ran from the 28th February to the 8th March 2009.
Set in Europe’s largest elliptical dome rising over 6 stories this non-consecrated church designed in the renaissance style and materialised in marble, stone and brick on a scale that was both imposing and oppressive in which to think how to work, how to respond. The discovery of the church’s pews caked in dust and stacked in rows in the vast underground maze of corridors created the opportunity in which to develop a concept a type of ‘Nietzsche’ debunking of religious belief systems. The opportunity to use these large (up to 6 metres in length) and heavy disused and forgotten seating objects came in test of standing one them on its edge creating a type of congregational ‘falling out’ of the once sitters. Later it became revealed to me that these pews were cut from a single tree from forests of a former Spanish colonial East African country and transported to Laboral.
The original religious debunking meshed with the concept of reconstructing the desecrated forest. The physical labour in setting-up the pews on edge to create a sense of a false ceiling challenged the dome’s architectural dominance. Designed and spaced in series of triangulations of 3, 5 and 7 supported by various dimensions of wood lengths taken from a demolished house. These massively heavy and imposing forms were finally held or clasped together by red clamps; blood stains of the fallen ‘Nietzschian’ Christ. Audiences moved through the forest of pews and could climb mid-way to the top of the dome and look at the forest of pews in plan. A solo dance piece that I co-developed as dramaturge was made in response to installation was conceived as a durational work over 3 hours.