project image
Lex Eliot Rose

first performed on May 3, 2019
Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden
performed five times in 2019


Italy / Sweden


The work “O (white cube, bouncy ball)” is a performance that reflects upon perfection, demands, and high expectations projected on the human body. Starting from different expressions (some from my personal biography, some collectively repeated), I use my voice as a vessel to guide the audience through questions, images, and bodily sensations.

The performance starts with the performer (myself) welcoming the audience and asking them to sit on the ground in the space. This is very important in order to avoid clear borders between performer and spectator.

The first part of the performance is a choreographed series of eight movements on the border between a workout, a dance class, and a children’s game. Spinning, rolling, and bouncing I challenge my body, which is clearly angular and almost lacking roundness, to reach the perfect shape, here intended as the sphere. According to Plato, the sphere is the most perfect and self-consistent (or uniform) of shapes. According to my family too. They say since I am a child: “You are the square, and your twin brother is the ball. You will never be a ball.”

Repeating this movement pattern, I try to shape my square body, as well as my square personality.

During the second part of the performance, the “cool down” of this workout, I use spoken words and vocal sounds to guide the audience through a loose narration. The text is told while the performer lies on a Pilates ball that is slowly deflating. At the end of the performance, both my body and the ball have lost our own shape and we lie on the floor, exhausted.

The performance addresses different issues. First of all, the violence of language and how words or sentences that are constantly repeated shape our body and personality, as well as the way we move and interact. Moreover, taking the sphere as a metaphor for perfection, I question the use of shape-related terms in the English language and how the body shape is nowadays seen as a determinant factor of the personal value of each individual. Finally, I ask if movement can break existing systems and reveal different possibilities in sites, like a museum (the white cube), where movement is strictly regulated by a code of what is (or not) permitted. What does a ball do inside this cube, then? How does it enter the space and how can it live in it?