Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Artists Market

Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper Debate the Theory of Everything

Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper, cosmo(il)logical, 2014.COURTESY THE ARTISTS

Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper, cosmo(il)logical, 2014.

COURTESY THE ARTISTS

Art Basel’s quiet and airy sculpture garden in Collins Park in front of the Bass Museum is something of a temporary respite from all the hysteria this week elsewhere. How jarring, then, to walk into a geodesic dome installed in the park and find artists Liz Glynn and Dawn Kasper completely freaking out about the origins of the universe.

This was for a performance called cosmo(il)logical, in which both artists were wearing jumpsuits and had microphones attached to their heads, which they chanted into as they frantically walked in circles, occasionally scribbling on the floor with chalk and desperately trying to get a point across.

“The stars are dying all the time because of helium,” Glynn said. “It becomes a black hole and takes you with it–” and here she fell to the floor and rolled herself up into a piece of long black fabric in one swift motion, to which Kasper–on the floor running what they said through various effects pedals–responded, “You can never get out.” The performance was so frenzied, resembling something like the inarticulate ramblings of a two friends zonked out on speed, it’s best to just quote some of the things they said as I wrote them down:

“This woman, she wins an award, like, from NASA to go this other planet and it’s closer than the sun so you can see it and it’s exactly like Earth.”

“But there’s this, like, negative space woman from that Earth, and she comes to this Earth?”

“That’s just a way of explaining this vector?”

“Expanding and contracting.”

“Expanding and contracting.”

“Expanding and contracting.”

“Expanding and contracting.”

At which point someone who I didn’t realize was standing behind me in the darkness tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You can go sit in the dome if you want,” basically scaring the pants off me. For most of the time I watched, I was alone in the dome with Glynn, Kasper, and this mysterious shadow publicist, which only added to this whole existential loneliness and despair in the fabric of space theme.

Eventually, a few more people arrived, and Glynn rolled the black fabric that she had wrapped herself in earlier into a ball. “If someone could throw this asteroid in our direction while we collide and see who it hits…” and she offered the ball to a woman standing next to me, and Glynn and Kasper ran at each other. The asteroid missed them. “Let’s try it again! Closer!” The woman tried again and hit Glynn.

“Somehow everything you see in front of you is because matter survived,” she said.

There was a brief pause and then Glynn and Kasper started talking again. They repeated the same phrase over and over.

“Let’s start at the beginning.”

“Let’s start at the beginning.”

“Let’s start at the beginning.”

“Let’s start at the beginning.”

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