Multimedia / Shelf Life

'Shelf Life' is a collaborative multimedia artwork that incorporates installation art into a dance performance

Title: Shelf Life
Date: 1996
Media: Dance Installation
Dimensions: 3m x 5m
Material: Digital video, acrylic, steel and live performer
Collaboration: A collaboration with choreographer Carol Brown 
Funding: Funded by South East Dance Agency

First built in 1996, the artwork 'Shelf Life' was a meditation in the shape of a visual art installation on what is to be contained in a confined space for an outstanding dance performance. South East Dance Agency commissioned this artwork to Esther Rolinson, and Carol Brown created the four-hour performance experience. Carol Brown is an interdisciplinary choreographer working with dance, music, image, place and architecture that often integrates new technologies into her artistic practice.

Contained within the boundaries of a sculptural acrylic and steel shelf Carol Brown spontaneously moved and meditated as loops of sound, projected light and digital video cascaded around her. The large free standing acrylic perspex shelf, designed by Esther Rolinson, allowed the performer to move in the digital environment without touching the ground. The audience could come and go as in an art exhibition, to stay as long as they wished. 

The audience who inhabit the installation are lulled and mesmerized, some sit or lie on the floor, some sleep coccooned from the outside world, guided towards the virtual world by this reassuring material body.

Leask, J. (1999, May). Shelf Life. Live Art Magazine

Shelf Life dance installation toured nationally and internationally

'Shelf Life' premiered De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. Also performed at North Gallery Brighton University; Horsham Arts Centre; Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham; Poole Arts Centre; Playhouse Theatre, Newcastle; St Pancras Churchyard, Spring Loaded Festival, London; Romaeuropa, Teatro Nazionale, Roma, Italy; Holsovice Brewery; 4 + 4 Days in Motion, International Theater Festival; Romaeuropa, Roma (20-22 October 2000); 4+4 Days in Motion International Theatre Festival, (9 Nov 2000); Contemporary Art Gallery, Zagreb; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vilnius Lithuania.