Michaela Gleave

Closed Loop


Performers, glitter, industrial vacuum cleaner, boiler suits, soundtrack, wireless headphones, text projection, false wall, observation window

Soundtrack by James Brown

Choreography: A collaboration with Natalie Pelarec

Installation view: Campbelltown Arts Centre.  Photograph: Michaela Gleave


Closed Loop presents two performers in a closed off room, engaged in an endlessly repetitive action.  One sprinkles a continuous line of silver glitter and the other constantly vacuums it up. Acknowledging neither each other nor the audience, they simply perform their task, codependent on each other for the continuance of the act.  Created for the exhibition The ListClosed Loop is a bittersweet reflection on the nature of youth and responds to both the specific conditions and history of the suburbs surrounding the Campbelltown Arts Centre and the artist’s own experience of growing up in rural and regional Australia: limits and potential, possibility and inevitability, the torture and ecstasy of slowly realising your own autonomy in an ultimately inescapable system.  Reminiscent of agricultural, scientific or industrial processes the two bodies trace a never-to-be-completed circuit through the closed-off room, a Sisyphean loop that never progresses yet never regresses with purpose existing in the eternity of the continuous moment.  The work is metered by a hypnotic looping soundtrack inspired by INXS' 1988 hit 'Never Tear Us Apart' that is accessible only via four sets of wireless headphones, two worn by the performers, and two availble to audience members on the other side of the glass.   When the bodies vacate the space the flip-side of the work is revealed; words taken from a survey about the future projected large in the space amidst the abandoned remnants of the action.