Performance and ephemeral objects suggest elements of time and impermanence. In my work I use these elements as metaphors for the vulnerable, temporal nature of the collective human experience. In Tidal Culture, I’m interested in using aspects of time and impermanence to address and reflect upon current conditions of the world as well as the relationships between and among cultures.
Tidal Culture is a long-term nomadic work using the Atlantic Ocean as a focal point and
primary resource. Part I began on the shoreline of Maine and has since continued onto five additional sites bordering the North Atlantic: Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Outer Hebrides. The North Atlantic chapter of this work will conclude in Ireland.
There are two primary components to this work: “performance” and object making. In the performative work I use video to document very still sittings. More specifically, I am relatively still while the ocean remains active. All of the sites are chosen based on their relationship to the ocean; in each location, I select a position that will allow me to have a direct site line to the center of the Ocean. My back is turned to the camera or viewer while facing the water. The act of sitting at a shoreline, observing the ocean may seem unremarkable. I’m concerned with what is not readily visible; what takes place over time; and how states of mind, like conditions of the earth, require time to experience, observe and understand. Each site is documented with similar sittings, which are recorded in real time and then exhibited using single-channel video projections. I witness each site in durational sittings, which are documented by one-hour videos, shot continuously with no edit cuts. My particular positions on the edge of the world are intended to question personal perspective and to invite dialogue between one place and another.
Deborah Wing-Sproul is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, video, film, sculpture, installation, drawing, photography and printmaking. Her multi-disciplinary background includes modern dance and choreography, having studied with Merce Cunningham and Meredith Monk as well as many other notable performers. She later went on to study at the School of Visual Arts, NYC; Film/Video Arts, NYC; the International Film + Television Workshops, Rockport, ME; and holds an MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Her films and videos have been shown in numerous festivals and exhibitions internationally. She was a re-performer in four works for the retrospective, “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” (MoMA, 2010); elements from her Tidal Culture series are on view as part of “Under the Sea”, a six-person exhibition at MASS MoCA’s Kidspace, through May 2012; Wing-Sproul is developing a new ensemble video, which will preview this Spring in a five person group exhibition curated by Julie Poitros-Santos at the Coleman Burke Gallery in Brunswick, Maine. Wing-Sproul will begin a new volume of Tidal Culture, broadening her ocean-based works to encompass all of the oceans of the world, while the North Atlantic chapter of this series concludes in Ireland.
Deborah Wing-Sproul – Portland Maine