17 minutes - a Performance [Hot glass performance, 1997 - 2009]
Melted glass, bricks or stones; Houses: 5 x 8 x 10 cm
more images from Hide Kulturbrott 2007; Quicktime movie [26mb]
Images from Kronobergs castle 2008. Photographs by Jörgen Ludwigsson
Images from Smålands Museum park 2008. Photographs by Jörgen Ludwigsson
Images from performance in Edinburgh 1997
During the performance I pour 1200°C hot glass into an iron mould and cast glass houses, which are placed on a brick or a stone and handed out to the audience. After giving away the first house I declare; This house will explode in seventeen minutes, setting up a tension by the fact that someone is given a present with a literal expiration. While I continued casting and giving away more houses, audience members decide to quickly do away with their house and monitor it from a safe distance.
The houses first glow bright yellow from the core of hot glass. Slowly the color change from orange into a dark red and finally it looses the glow and become clear. After about 10 – 25 minutes the houses explode with a load noise releasing the tension and anticipation in the audience. The performance lasts for about 45 minutes during which 14 houses are given out and the discussion and participation gets louder and more involved. The performance is held at sunset at (different time depending on the season) and the glass glows more orange as the sky gets darker.
The performance speaks of how we rely on what seems to be safe factors in our life, such as our home. The explosions represent how "solid" things in our life can suddenly fall apart, as when someone dies or when losing a job. The reason the glass would explode, is due to tension created when the inside core and the surface cool at different rate. Ordinarily glass is put into annealing kilns to cool down slowly.
The design and photos of the furnace construction.