Alex Louise Campbell
A merging of the idea of art as therapy with the ideas of insect or alien parasites. The works are durational, physical sculptures activated by performers who stand in as audience member or ‘participants’ – they are connected to the works by extended latex veins or tendrils. Their participation, however, is by way of their physical connection to the artworks, as if the artworks were controlling or feeding on them.
This concept was envisaged through extensive research of the Camponotus Leonardi ant who unwillingly becomes host to Ophiocordyceps unilateralis – a parasitic fungus.
The spore first infects the ant, and within 3–6 days, the worker is manipulated, infested, and driven into the participation of the fungus’ lifespan.
The actor’s quiet observation of both the artwork and viewer explores both immersion and the ambiguous line between participation and coercion.