Jamie Isenstein: Empire of Fire (2010) at Tate Liverpool

Isenstein is known for habiting her art works in order to challenge the inanimate nature of sculptures, often provoking a comical reaction. In lots of her pieces, although she has happily acted as part of the installation to contribute her own ‘endurance performance art’, the entirety of her body is never revealed and instead her body part is merely one part of many in her piece. Nothing is as it seems in the work including the books or seat which appear to be aflame and the hand at the end of the hosereel belongs to Isenstein herself. Through inhabiting her artworks she challenges the inanimate nature of sculpture and explores the interplay of performance and sculpture. The presence of the human hand is both unsettling in the uncanny tension it provokes and humourous in its quirky nature. Isenstein manages to combine sculptural practice, endurance performance art and surreal humour to great effect.

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