project image
Barbara Rosenthal

first performed on January 29, 2019
Lava Klub, Helsinki, Finland
performed once in 2019


Charlie Morrow

New York, NY / Helsinki, Finland


As a Media Artist, everything I do involves cameras. My live performances utilize multi-layered projections, shadows and sound. In this one, I “fold in” earlier iterations, which is also typical of my practice in other media.

I am costumed in floor-length white, covering my head so I can see only strong light in my eyes. Video documentation of when “Surreal Photos” was projected onto me in a 2016 performance was sped up 20% and projected onto me again in this performance. Therefore, I appeared both as a live body and as a projected figure, sometimes overlapping, sometimes interacting, often frenzied. The photos are of bizarre landscapes I’ve shot all over the world. The images and sound increase rapidly over eight minutes. During the performance I become palpably disorientated from following the light beam around the stage as it moves for the photo-projections, even though I can’t see much through the costume. Because the London documentation footage, not just the photos, was the projection, the new, additional problem was to confuse the viewers about which “me” was live / present, and which projection / past. Technically, the problem in mounting this on the cabaret stage was to match the scale of my image to that of my body.

My purpose philosophically, as in all my work, is to portray the existential anxiety humans face in a constantly changing, barely apprehendable universe. I care most about emotional interaction with the audience: during the performance they differentiate my identities and understand I’m chasing the light beam that casts the surreal landscapes. At first I heard tentative laughter, then gasps and fuller vocalization as the frightening projected scenery, unsettling arrangement, pacing of images, and Charlie Morrow’s avant-garde music increased.