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Alessia Cargnelli

first performed on February 19, 2019
Sperrin hills of county Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Belfast N. Ireland, UK
performed twice in 2019


Victoria, BC, Canada


I have challenged myself to make an artwork that delves into the impacts of resource extraction in the bucolic and vital Sperrins of Northern Ireland. The proposed Canadian-owned Dalradian gold mine is the location of gold extraction that will impact the region for generations. I am thinking about the effect cyanide tailings will have and the relationship of the body and gold within the natural environment.

ACTION: Dig hole deep enough to be under ground in area of tailing pond, place table in hole, eat a fully gold-encrusted ploughman’s lunch while drinking Goldschalger, leave a gold-encrusted bowel movement in hole, remove table and chair, fill hole.

What often interests me is the ongoing reformulation of a set of key interests. These interests are drawn from my observations of Western society’s less considered compulsions. Exploring the performance of gender, specifically masculinity, the valorization of labour, the pursuit of leisure, and the marshalling of amity. I explore language and paralanguage, that is, both the spoken and gestural aspects of human communication.

Live artwork presents a direct relationship with material, with action and process, with human interaction as I understand it. Physical involvement is the most embodied way in which to create meaning. Through durational works, both the artist and the audience gain access to the experience uniquely available through such commitment. This is, of course, the archetypal modality of “performance art,” an experience that unfolds through an extended period of time. Nothing can replace that learning, that specific duration of being.