David le Viseur

Performance, 2009

curated by Katie Bachner for Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA

„Cocoon – The Possibility of Birth“ was a one-hour performance, commissioned after a car (or an alien spacecraft?) crashed into the front of the gallery (Johansson Projects). Performed during the Oakland Art Murmur, 2009.

A man in a business suit arrives with a strange object, undresses and crawls inside. Cut off from the environment and from social interaction, he’s like the shapeless, fragile larvae of a butterfly – or moth. Through the cocoon we can hardly see what’s happening inside. We see lights, hear strange noises, sonic feedback and vocal fragments. It’s a struggle. But the isolation of the cocoon becomes unbearable and suffocating. Then, a metamorphosis occurs: slowly, the cocoon breaks open, paint sprays out, covers audience and cocoon. A freshly hatched artist emerges.


From the performance, the image series “Cocoon Performance Abstracts” arose as a curious, unintended by-product.

– All Photos by Anthony Kurtz