Fill 1990, (detail) Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, Sydney; photo credit: Heidrun Lohr
A thirty-minute performance commissioned by René Block for the 8th Biennale of Sydney: The Readymade Boomerang.
Fill, consisted of a sixteen-person chorus uttering the word ‘everyone’. Beginning by silently mouthing the word ‘everyone’ the chorus slowly transitioned into a whisper. For thirty minutes the sound built to a vocal crescendo. The performers sat on small stools beneath 28,000 loosely mounded beer cans.
Projected text and other video imagery were intermittent, occurring at predetermined times during the performance. This culminating performance in the Everyone series was defined by a chorus that articulated, principally, a single word in repetition as if the performers were trapped and had always been trapped, entrenched in habit or a habituated culture. In Waiting for Godot, the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989) wrote, ‘Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down the hole lingeringly, the gravedigger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. He listens. But habit is a great deadener (1954, p59).
The performers were, from left to right, as shown in the image above:
Christopher Ryan, Anthony Becker, Andre Bremmer, Penny Thwaites, Virginia Baxter, Andrea Aloise, John Bayliss, Keith Gallasch, Jai, McHenry, Claire Grant, Sarah Blacklock, Sue-Ellen Kohler, Lucy Bleach, Nigel Kelleway
The Readymade Boomerang, 8th Biennale of Sydney, curated by Rene Block, Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, Sydney 1990