project image
Julia Bauer

first performed on July 14, 2018
Braithwaite Hall, Croydon, UK
performed once in 2018


Tempting Failure

London, UK


“Louder, She Said What” is a twenty-minute sculptural work that explores stillness, balance, and tension. I was initially inspired by the following quote from Audre Lorde: “One needs to recognize one’s responsibility to seek the words out, read them, share them, examine them in the pertinence to one’s life,” which led me to think about the very moment between transformation of silence and stillness into language & action.

As the audience enter, I am positioned in the center of the space with an 8-meter piece of pink faux leather coming out of my mouth (. . . like a static waterfall, like an artificial stream, like a frozen flood made out of interrupted sentences, not-listened-to call outs, failed attempts to be heard).

Two speakers are positioned at the opposite end of the fabric, from which loud, disrupted noise comes out. I wear a red suit, hold a glass of water in each hand and stand on my toes with a red rose attached to each heel. Tilting as far as the pink faux leather allows—stretching and loosening, my body weight against artificial weight—I investigate the tension between body and material, stillness and motion, passive and active.

Well-structured with clear travel points, the piece allows no mistakes; my responsibility to keep balance, the water to remain contained and the roses not to be crushed. I seek eye contact with those present in the space before I begin to travel towards the speakers, wrapping the pink faux leather around my head. After an initial turn around my sight is prevented and so I feel the tape on the floor as guidance.

As I arrive to the speakers the 8-meter pink faux leather is all wrapped around my head. I place the glasses on a speaker each and detach the roses from my heels. The noise fades out as the roses touch the water. Thereafter the only audible sound is me breathing through the pink faux leather. The piece ends in a prolonged still image and the audience leave as they wish.