A summit wouldn't do without you
(2016 - present)
Touring collaborative performance and installation with Kieran Bryant and Lachlan Herd of 110%.
Since 2013, 110% have been creating works of performance, video and mixed media installation through a combination of long distance collaboration and occasional physical proximity. During these extended periods of separation, stranded in the swampy flatlands of Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere, the trio had often discussed their shared dream of one day reuniting atop a mountainous peak to hold a summit on a summit. In this international expedition, the three artists would travel from their respective locations to the foot of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. They would ascend the mountain following individual trajectories to meet face to face at the top. Together at last, they would celebrate their peak achievement with a group hug, nature appreciation and team-bonding session. Hi-fives all round! They made it! What’s next!?
The Summit Summit series explores the physical and symbolic geographies of mountains in Western philosophies of aspiration and achievement, using the journey towards the peak as a metaphor for the negotiation and enactment of collaborative practice across international borders. Appropriating the framework of the alpine expedition, the series adopts processes of goal visualisation, training and audience engagement to explore how mountains are framed as nature’s challenge - mystical obstacles to be encountered, climbed and conquered. Through their pilgrimage towards the mountaintop of their dreams, 110% are reflecting on the exotic lure of alpine landscapes, the aura of triumph that surrounds the ascent to a metaphoric and physical peak, and post-ascent trajectories of disillusionment and ambivalence.
Once you’ve reached the top, where else is there to go?
A goal is a dream with a deadline
A goal without a plan is just a wish
A summit wouldn't do without you:
Dreaming the Dream
Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, July-August 2016.
Hand-dyed textiles, cement, pigment, nylon rope, sand, polyester wadding, geraniums, air-dry clay, received photograph, scrolling dream archive.
A Summit Wouldn’t Do Without You (Dreaming the Dream) was the first leg in a multi-stage journey towards realising 110%'s vision of alpine togetherness. At Firstdraft Gallery, the trio presented a month of collaborative dreaming experiments, diving deep into an exploration of the physical and symbolic geographies of mountains in Western philosophies of aspiration and achievement. Beneath the towering drapery of their (hu)man made Mt. Motivation installation, 110% hosted a series of public dreaming workshops with invited guests Sarah the Psychic, sound artist Jannah Quill, and Raclette-loving relatives from the semi-Swiss side of Lachlan’s family.
Documentation stills from Public Program Event #1, Dreaming the Dream with Sarah the Psychic.
110% consulted with Sydney-based tarot expert, Sarah the Psychic, to learn more about the spiritual geography of their past, present and future collaborative journeys. Sarah also offered individual tarot readings to gallery visitors.
Read Sarah’s reflection on the experience of participating in the project, here.
Documentation stills from Public Program Event #2, Dreaming the Dream with Jannah Quill.
Sound artist Jannah Quill led 110% and gallery visitors on a sonic journey from bass camp to mountaintop and beyond. A 2 hour deep meditation session of highs, lows and plateaus.
Documentation stills from Public Program Event #3, Dreaming the Dream with the Webber-Herd Family.
Visitors enjoyed an afternoon Raclette session hosted by the matriarchs of Lachlan Herd’s extended family. Melting moments were followed by an afternoon nap to envision Swiss meadows, stone paths and granite falls in a lactose-induced dreamscape.
A summit wouldn't do without you:
Training is the essence of transformation
Bus Projects, Melbourne, September - October 2016.
Hand-dyed textiles, cement, pigment, nylon rope, sand, polyester wadding, geraniums, air-dry clay, video monitor, framed digital print on paper, rejection email print outs, souvenir cowbell, pickles, pretzel sticks.
At Bus Projects, 110% presented a hard yakka acclimatisation installation, sweating out an investigation of the physical and symbolic geographies of mountains in Western philosophies of aspiration and achievement. Melbourne audiences were invited to join 110% as they trained and prepared for their future ascent, sights set firmly on alpine accomplishments in the European elsewhere of tomorrow.
During the exhibition period, Kieran and Lachlan undertook a daily training regimen that included a hi-fibre breakfast, a collaborative workout of partner lifts, floor and wall presses and the cathartic destruction of residency rejection email print-outs.
Meanwhile, finding herself in Switzerland for another project, Beth climbed local peak, Mt Môle, as a gesture of dedication to the group’s fantasies of alpine togetherness. A satisfyingly triangular peak seen from the shores of Lake Geneva, Mt Môle was selected to be the site of our future Summit Summit if the trio were to be accepted for a 3 month artist residency at the Embassy of Foreign Artists, Geneva. This would have been their first international project together. Unfortunately, the application was rejected. In order to honour these original intentions, Beth held a fondue ceremony of cheese, bread and a trio of gherkins atop the mountain, sending documentation of the ascent for display within the Bus Projects installation.
Exhibition Catalogue available here
Photo credits: Christo Crocker
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try
A summit wouldn't do without you:
Three flowing futures
Video and mixed media installation. Live performance
Presented as part of group exhibition, Grit! curated by Cassandra Hard-Lawrie, The Incinerator Art Space, Sydney, January 2018.
Having encountered several setbacks in their quest to achieve alpine togetherness, in the third iteration of the Summit Summit series, 110% drifted from the project's original trajectory of peak ascension to immerse themselves in the reflective and rejuvenating potential of bodies of water. Still working together across international borders (Australia and Switzerland), the trio focused on the bodies of water that lay between them, and those separating them from the accomplishment of their goal of mountain ascension and reunion.
In conjunction with a re-presentation of the Mt. Motivation base camp in the Incinerator gallery space, 110% presented a live performance in the neighbouring Willoughby Leisure Centre - a public swimming pool complex. Combining text, synchronised immersive actions and gestures of liquid appreciation, the performance explored each 110% member’s response to themes of long distance longing; the overcoming of encountered obstacles, and future aspirations for the collaboration.
In the same period, Beth, working again in Geneva, completed a second ascent of Mt Môle, the group's initial chosen site of reunion. She carried with her to the peak copies of rejection letters from residency programs and arts funding organisations in Switzerland that the group had applied to in the hopes of realising the project. These documents were burnt to ash on the mountaintop, subsequently mailed to the exhibition site in Sydney, and displayed in a ceramic urn within the base camp installation.