Entrance of the gallery space where you will find BLAH BLAH BLAH



When you are ready to check out one of the other galleriesor click the appropriate button below, or the "Performances" button to view similar works to this.

waiting for christopher columbus
image details artist's running commentary general commentary










In August 1983 I travelled from Berlin to Almada Portugal where for three weeks I was involved in a performance festival organised by Egideo Alvaro. Just a few months earlier in June I had performed a specific work in Hamburg and I intended to repeat this work at this performance festival. However on arrival at Almada I realised that that particular work was totally inappropriate and I needed to generate a new work altogether. With this in mind I explored the environs especially of the Tagus River, mixed with the locals to absorb the local culture and arrived at an idea for a new work.


I would start in a primitive state - naked, and progress to a suited state reflecting and with collaborative assistance sit at a table on the banks of the Tagus checking for the return of Christopher Columbus who had some association with the area. The work required the construction of a beacon made from the local clay. This I would light and feed with scrap wood collected from local discards. I was advised not to collect anything too significant as the locals collected wood for their winter fires. I constructed the beacon transporting clay from the higher area of Almada down to the banks of the Tagus the day before the performance. Unfortunately, at that time of the year the tides were neap tides and the following day I discovered that my beacon had been half destroyed. On the day of the performance in a panic I restored the beacon as significantly as I could but it was nothing like the original. The performance began in the late afternoon. Naked I smeared the remaining clay onto my body and proceeded to light the fire and feed it with the wood collected earlier . I then hid among the stony shoreline of the Tagus as dusk fell occasionally darting out of the shadows to feed the fire. I had to be careful as I was barefoot and the rocks were slippery with green seaweed growth.

While this was taking place, Carlos dressed in a white tuxedo prepared a table along the river bank. At this point I quietly jumped into the Tagus washing the clay from me and swimming a few metres to a spot where I had laid out my suit. Once dressed I clambered back towards the table where Carlos was waiting for me. There we smoked and drank wine occasionally peering out towards the Tagus Bridge hoping to catch a glimpse of Columbus' return. The work ended about 7 o'clock when darkness was descending .







































to top of page


2d work3D buttonmachines buttoninstallations Video works burronlibrary buttonrecent & current work buttonCV Wickshome page