What a glorious way to start the weekend; watching Millie Brown's site specific performance installation at the Gazelli Art House! Rainbow Body was seen for the very first time in the U.K. and it most certainly lived up to its expectations.
To those off you who are unfamiliar with the performer, Brown is a body-oriented artist who uses controversial media such as vomit to create socially engaging paintings, reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionists.
Rainbow Body finds Brown being suspended from the gallery ceiling whilst having long strips of crystal prisms attached to her harness, over a duration of four hours. Accompanied by loud meditative music, Rainbow Body presented Brown's body as a vessel exploring notions of form, space and submersion.
Rainbow Body was a sight for sore eyes; a fierce-looking young woman putting herself on display in the heart of [fashion] consumerist London. That made for an impressive window display - as I am convinced that Brown used the large windows of Gazelli Art House, to captivate the attention of the average passerby. And boy did she! Observing her performance from the outside, I noticed many people being distracted by the floating Brown and some of their remarks were priceless: 'Is she a real woman?' and 'what is a naked lady doing hanging from the ceiling?'.
This show-stopping effect is paramount when assessing body art; Being a spectator of Rainbow Body I found myself comparing Brown with the Christ on the cross - both of which were individuals who surrendered their bodies and suffered in the presence of an audience, for a greater purpose. The resulting spectacle provoked an array of emotions from the audience ranging from amazement to mild shock.
However, I personally empathised with Brown - spending over an hour in the gallery I found myself feeling Brown's pain and discomfort and that was when I realised it; I was observing a woman dedicated to her work. An artist so determined to become her own artwork, that was willing to lie in inertia whilst being photographed, watched and talked about by her audience. A trait Brown shares with live artist Marina Abramovich.
Overall I found Brown's performance installation fascinating to watch and I was mesmerised by the cross she was carrying [that came in the form of crystal prisms] whilst letting herself go in the Gazelli Art House.
You can read more about Millie Brown here.