“Time is just this – a number of motions before and after” – Stuart Grant, Performance Artist.
You’ve probably heard of a sensory deprivation chamber where individuals float in a saltwater pod. Now take that concept, and instead of one hour, make it 240 hours — and put the individual inside a caravan in which no light and sound can penetrate. How would the individual inside know what the time is, let alone what day it is? What would they do for those 240 hours? Performance Artist Kat Henry has entered the Timepod and will not be exiting until her ten days are up.
To many, it sounds like a horrible experience, but for Henry this experiment forms the basis of her PhD research with Monash University. Her thesis explores extreme physical endurance and long durational performance. Like Henry’s other works Jesus! Live! Here! Tonight! and Deliverance, Timepod focuses on the performative, not the theatrical.
I attended the entering ceremony where Henry was seen carrying and then destroying a grandfather clock, hinting that she will no longer be a slave to time. Upon entering the pod, she threw out her phone; a symbolic declaration that she will have no communication with the outside world.
Over the 240 hours the outside environment will change, viewers will come and go, the sounds of the street will evolve, but the performance remains. Inside the pod, Henry remains constant. The only marker of time is a countdown positioned on the outside of the pod for viewers to witness.
Viewers are encouraged to reflect on how time influences their lives. Does the clock your day? Henry remains in the pod not for two, not twenty-four, not 100, but rather 240 hours. It is the amount of time it takes to break from the habit of everyday life. 240 hours means that Henry will be outside of her comfort zone, perhaps even discomforted by the lack of time.
Amber Bock is a freelance stage manager who is excited to keep you up to date with Melbourne’s best theatre.
The audience are welcome to visit Timepod at Testing Grounds in Southbank during opening hours Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm. The exiting ceremony will be held on Saturday October 20, 6-7pm at Testing Grounds, Southbank.
This venue is accessible. For more information please follow her Facebook event page.