Blowing bubbles

1979, ‘80 Langhton Street’ Gallery, San Francisco

‘Western Front’ Gallery, Vancouver

80 Langhton Street Gallery, San Francisco, 1979.

A tank filled with liquid soap and several tubes.

The artist takes a tube and slowly begins to blow bubbles, initially assuming very difficult positions that gradually evolve into easier and more normal ones. Next, he asks the audience to assist him by making bubbles as quickly as possible.

So as not to lose time, the audience and the artist then blow bubbles directly in the tank. The performance ends when a tube with compressed air is inserted into the tank and the entire gallery space is filled with bubbles.

In several languages, ‘blowing bubbles’ is a metaphorical expression, meaning ‘talking without saying anything substantial’, ‘lots of space and little content’, ‘building castles in the air’, etc. For this reason, the performance begins with theatrical indirect positions, since the audience usually expects a demonstration or a metaphorical illustration. But in this case, it is gradually resolved in a direct way, literally by blowing bubbles[1].

A microphone is set to record and amplify the noise from the bubble and foam. Vancouver, 1979.

August 1978

Photo credits: Blowing Bubbles – Western Front

[1] Misheff, A., My lies, Milan, Dov’è la tigre ed., 1979.