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On Leonardo

Anna Thew
1977

slide/tape performance

On Leonardo

performance with slide projection, earth, air, fire, water, and burning screens

"Would a man prefer to lose his eyes or his hearing?"

The lights of the buildings go out. On four suspended 5ft x 8ft screens, the pupil of an eye is eclipsed by an image of the Mona Lisa, which is set alight. The projected image is engulfed in flames, only to re-emerge on a second screen behind as the embers die down. The re-emergent image is hosed with water. Multiple Monas magically reflect all over the glass windows of the buildings around. The Monas fade, one by one, as the second screen falls away and the portrait re-appears on a third canvas which is destroyed with earth. Mona's smile moves mysteriously on a last muslin screen blown by the night air. Readings from Da Vinci's Trattato della Pittura by Anna Thew and David Medalla, inside. Flaming screens, earth, air, fire and water etc., outside.

Performed at Chelsea School of Art, Manresa Road 1977.
Helped by the Firemen from Chelsea Fire Station.

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