"Phases of the Imminent" 2019.
Cosmology, according to Wikipedia is a branch of astronomy concerned with the studies of the origin and evolution of the universe.
In this 6 hour performance, Chelsea Coon confronts our limited understanding of Cosmology. She brings to our thinking possibilities of how we exist in the universe of time and space and ponder what is meant by Eternity. Her statement from this performance poetically speaks about this eternity.... "Old stars make new stars so old stars never disappear. Old stars just keep on making new stars forever, nothing never ends". This poetry is translated to the performance itself, as this star system slowly collapses in on itself. And, the making of concentric circles of ground glass, as the performer witnesses an inward journey.
I don't know much about Cosmology but I am quite impressed by the notion that the cosmos is breathing, in the way that it expands and contracts on a massive scale. Breathing is an unconscious phenomenon and Science tells us that everything living 'breaths', including star systems. This brings the body and the the cosmos together in a most simplistic manner.
The history books tell us of a cosmic eruption of a double star explosion of 1571 AD. This explosion was was so intense that it was clearly visible in broad daylight. If we try to visualise the collapse of a nebula is must be like the smashing and shattering of a glass form with its minute particles escaping into space.
The durational performance work of Chelsea Coon visualises these cosmic phenomena and presents these on a human scale. She realises this as an “impossible task” of trying to mirror cosmological processes of build-up or breakdown. But the Art follows the science of astronomy and relates this to the human time frame and common understanding.
In the work we see below, "Spaces We Will Go" (2015), is performed in a 10 hour time frame. In her words, Chelsea Coon explains the process of the work:
"The room was installed with a line of 10 clear blue glass bowls filled with water. On the hour, every hour, I picked up a bowl in my hands and held it outwards from my chest. I then lifted it above my head and threw it into the floor with full force. The bowl exploded, projecting the water upwards, and expelling glass particles in all directions over the space. The impact broke the silence of the work. For the remainder of the time between one bowl to the next, I picked up single fragments of glass, one in each hand, and would return them to the point where the bowl had been broken. The reaccumulation of the glass bits resulted in a reformation of a new object. The work discussed phases, intervals of time, the body, and the cosmic. For hour 10, I took all the glass bits from the previous nine hours and formed the outline of a circle with them. Inside of this circle, I dropped the final bowl, marking the end of the work."