Evaporation

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

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'Evaporation,' durational performance by Marilyn Arsem in the desert, photo by Sinead O'Donnell

Watching water evaporate in the desert.

event:
ZAZ 2008 Performance Art Festival
venue:
The terrace of the Adama (Earth) hangar
location:
Mitzpeh Ramon, Israel
sponsor:
Performance Art Platform
date:
September 2008

Project Notes:

I did this work at Mitzpeh Ramon. This was the first time I had been in a desert. We had taken a walk through the landscape the first day we were there… It felt as if we were on the moon.

I sat on the terrace, watching a plate of water evaporate. I sat very still, just staring at it, trying to see the evaporation take place. The sun was very bright, glaring.

People sat with me. In stillness. And in silence.

I was there about 4 hours, but not all of the water was gone when it was time for us to leave. I had hoped to stay there until it was completely gone, evaporated, and I was sorry that I had to leave before finishing the work…

I still wonder how long it would really have taken.

Someone said that it didn’t evaporate quickly because it was winter.
Others were concerned that I would become dehydrated, and get sun stroke.

I wore a scarf over my head. I discovered the value of that kind of full head covering, which is something that we had seen earlier that day as a group of Bedouin women passed by, herding sheep. The covering creates a kind of micro-climate under the cloth – the air stays moist from your breath, and the water doesn’t evaporate so quickly because it is dark and the cloth holds the moisture.