Control SLSA Stockholm

Short presentation for session 4 – artist’s roundtable Control Stockholm University.

I was thinking about the difference between the terms – experiment and test on the way home last night and in particular the role of experimentation in an artistic practice where I associate it with speculation and a different level of expectation about the outcome. My work in this exhibition is a speculation. It is not real.

My work since the early 20002 has been concerned with medicalised death and in particular the medicalised death of my father. His was a death within the highly mediated environment of an Intensive care unit where the primary purpose is to preserve life. I have become more and more interested in specific materials, processes and critical definitions in this context and increasingly on the idea of being involved in a performative experience as a witness.

Going back to talk about my work in this exhibition Control Experiment; Blood on Silk: Price taker price maker is a speculation about the future economic, regulatory, and cultural contexts of one of the primary materials used in a medicalised intervention, blood. It is a fundamentally essential circulatory material. Determination of the presence or absence of chemical markers and in what quantities, the percentage of red blood cell oxygenation, the blood pressures are all elements of this material. Speculations about the economic uses of the material of blood, the synthesis of artificial blood and the process of testing are questioned.

The title of the work – price take price maker is a reflection on the power relationship between the supplier/ producer and the market for blood. If you have no impact on the market you are relegated to being a price taker. The possibility of selling blood or blood products such as plasma are one of the strategies often listed as a way of increasing the income of an individual. To my knowledge blood producers have not joined together in an attempt to maximise their returns. This speculation pushes that to the brutality of the auction process and its interaction between the market and the seller.

On Friday in the security stream 11- 12.30 Y 21 my paper is addressing these issues and I will be showing images of a work from earlier this year of the emotional response to the surreal nature of the experience of a slow bleeding out.






The third video night at Das KloHäuschen

munich truck u turn as installed

The third video night at Das KloHäuschen was the showing of a video shot last week on a public holiday when the market was clean, apparently  abandoned and quiet. A solitary delivery truck performed for the camera doing a simple and beautiful U-turn. This curve outward towards the camera was projected into the urinal whose interior surface curved away.

First video night at Das KloHäuschen in Munich

The first of four  video nights was held last night at Das KloHäuschen in Munich. The video Blood on Silk: Site of Production was projected into one of the former urinals in the building. The video shows a series of repeated actions where the inner crease of the elbow is shown to the viewer. This crease is the usual site of blood extraction for sale, for donation or for testing .

The other three video nights are to be held on 24 and 31 May and 7 June from 21 to 21.30 hours ( 9 to 9.30 p.m.) at Thalkircher Sts 81 Munich

first video night 07

Video of the installation Blood on Silk: Trade conflated with Blood on Silk: Campbelltown as installed at Campbelltown Arts Centre 2014


Still Photo Credits Alex Gooding, Martin Lukersmith, Zan Wimberley, Alex Wisser

Video Credits Fiona Davies, Alex Gooding



Another photo from Blood on Silk at Campbelltown Arts Centre.


The single work Blood on Silk: Campbelltown uses layers of handmade silk paper both to define the structure of the gallery space and to partially conceal it. Working as a semi permeable membrane some things are allowed to pass and others held. The silk paper is beautiful, isolating and with its references to connective tissues and funeral shrouds, forlorn, invoking the ideas and experiences of absence.

Onto this work is projected  the second series of work , the three video works Blood on Silk: Trade 2011,2012 and 2013. In a series of three month long residencies over three years at Caravansarai in Istanbul Davies investigated the overlay of trade; the older silk trading routes with the newer routes for bio-products including blood. The works she produced during these residencies includes these meditative, almost abstracted video works. Shot from the rooftop terrace of the residency down six floors to the street where hardware shops are opening up in the morning. The choreography of the street is slowly revealed as each prepares to trade.