Finding Stillness- Revisiting The Contaminate 3 Festival- Part 1/3

Stillness is a concept that is explored through many practices. It is used in meditation, yoga,and Butoh. Stillness is captured through photographs, paintings, and animals use it as a defense mechanism. Stillness is universal concept and a communicative tool. The Present Tense is fascinated with how Stillness can be used in experiential art practices. This lead us to our recent call to artists working with Stillness. After reviewing The Present Tense archive, we found that Stillness was a common thread throughout The Contaminate 3 Festival we curated with TEST in 2008. To start off The Stillness Series, we will be sharing work from this festival over the next month.


Geneviéve Sideleau
“Knitted Walls” 2008

photo by Trevor Powers

Genviéve Sideleau creates installations, objects, and performances that address the body as a container/vessel. Often employing labor-intensive actions, she investigates the varied relationships between the body and objects. She is fascinated by anthropomorphism, obsessive behaviors, and the natural meditation that occurs through the process of domesctic work, daily routine, and repetitive actions.

For Contaminate 3, Sideleau sat inside of a hanging white box formed by panels of knitted lace. This structure was juxtaposed by a small screen showing a video her hands knitting the walls that the form was made of.  She remained still inside of the sculpture,her feet occasionally swaying as they hung below the knitted walls.  This was a gentle reward for the curious.

The choice to remain suspended in stillness, gave an equality to the knitted walls and her body.  The walls moved as frequently as she did, catching small rushes of air as the audience walked around them.  For several hours, Sideleau suspended time, offering the audience a pause.

photo by Trevor Powers