Painted Desert I–II
1992, 1993

Painted Desert is a place, located in Northern Arizona that vibrates with luminosity. As the night approaches, the ground seems to be charged with light, which is continuously being emitted long after the sunset.

Bigert & Bergström’s performance, entitled Painted Desert I, was performed at the Modern Dance Theatre in Stockholm in 1992. On the stage, two cocoons were hung from the ceiling which pulsated with air. As the cocoons contracted, two bodies appeared inside. After a period of breathing, the two persons made their entrance. The stage lightning switched from bright light to darkness and when the light turned off, two light-green bodies appeared, due to their hazmat suits, which were made of phosphorescent plastic. Charged with light, the two figures started to erect a green house on a small podium. Upon the house was finalized the podium started to vibrate, which escalated to a rattling earthquake causing the collapse of the green house.

The same green house was the central piece of the Painted Desert II exhibition at Bror Hjorts House in Uppsala (1993). Flanked by the two pulsating cocoons, here the installation was concealed inside a confrontation booth with a glass for the the visitors to look through it. On the outer wall of the booth, photo glass collages were displayed depicting Bigert & Bergström performing in the phosphorescent rescue suits.

"Painted Desert II," 1993. Installation image. Metal green house with glass, mother-in-law’s cushion, table cloth, wooden table. PVC cocoons, fans, phosphorescent hazmat suits, dummies, various dimensions. Photo: Studio Bigert & Bergström
Illustration Johan Mets
"Painted Desert," 1993. Photo glass collage, 40 x 30 x 3 cm
"Painted Desert," 1993. Photo glass collage, 40 x 30 x 3 cm
"Painted Desert," 1993. Photo glass collage, 40 x 30 x 3 cm
"Painted Desert II," exhibition opening card, Bror Hjorts House, Uppsala, 1993

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