Commissioned by Pioneer Works and curated by David Everitt Howe, Tamar Ettun’s performance “Dead Sea” is her largest-scale production to date, encompassing the entire main hall of Pioneer Works and an upper floor mezzanine.
A very intimate one, the performance builds upon the artist’s experience and interest in trauma through the fictional character named Abigail, who’s never been to the beach and has experienced both love and violence from first loves and family members.
The performance begins and ends with the unraveling and then collapse of hand-dyed parachute fabric, which serves as something of a symbolic horizon line, delineating an above-water performance space from one “below the waves.” The fabric is rich with meaning: it symbolises the brutality of institutionalised violence. “Dead Sea” conveys a nuanced opinion on blame and forgiveness, finding in both a complexity that mirrors lived experience.
- Tamar Ettun: Dead Sea