Skip to content

Body Loss


Somewhere there is a Siren.

Beginning with the utterance of a single note recorded into a looping device, she listens for the return of her own voice. Once heard, she responds with the same note again, and again, echoing herself until these single notes have grown into an endless chorus, a swarm, a sea, a body. Her voices fill the room with an ethereal presence, escaping into the world, untethered. Back on the ground, the body. Her mouth now fixed open in the shape of an ‘O’, as if the chorus of voices is forever streaming out all at once, or like they never came from her to begin with—as if an unconvincing lip-sync has been revealed and suddenly the synchronisation of body and voice no longer match up—and something is no longer right. The frozen-wide-open mouth unsettles and sheds away at the human signifying face. It becomes a gaping opening, a channel, a hole, through which something might creep in, or out. What is inside and what is outside are no longer contained. The angelic chorus continues in the background. Her mouth is fixed open, silently, in what could be a cry, a scream, a yawn, a laugh, a shriek, a song—in ecstasy or terror.

Her body carries its fixed mouth around the room with a controlled pace that is graceful and disconcerting. It crawls backwards and slides smoothly across the floor, passing fluidly through postures that appear animal, reptile, thing, subordinate, or possessed. The mouth-hole continues to travel, carried steadily by her body which continues along the floor until it reaches a structure or a wall, and then goes up, climbing onto whatever is in reach. Her hands feel over the surfaces of the room for what can be grasped and used to scale higher, as if following her voices that continue to drift upwards and away. As her hands steadily bear down on what they have found to grasp on to, other parts of the body become weightless. The feet float upwards for a moment, her head lies back. A body at once freed and constrained by the architecture around it. She grasps the building as if she is pulling it down or holding it up. Stretched and split, bearing down and floating upwards, by turns monstrous and angelic, but never quite either. Fluid forms morph around the fixed, open mouth. She continues, traversing the space, going up, going down, she is above and below, she swims in the chorus of voices from inside her that now fill the room. The body feels its way around the space, carrying the mouth-hole that breaches the boundary between inside and outside. A vessel that devours.

Created and performed by Angela Goh
Commissioning Credits: Body Loss was commissioned by Auto Italia

January 28-29 2023 – Art Gallery of NSW and Sydney Festival, as part of Monumental (working title), Sydney, Australia
April 9-10 2022 – Art Gallery of NSW, as part of Monumental (working title), Sydney, Australia
February 16 2022 – National Gallery of Victoria, as part of Performance Review and Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne, Australia
February 20 2021 – Art Gallery of NSW, in the frame of Archie+, Sydney, Australia
January 9 2021 – Art Gallery of NSW, in the frame of Archie+, Sydney, Australia (Cancelled due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
November 28 2020 – Art Gallery of NSW, in the frame of Archie+, Sydney, Australia
May 9 2019 – rile*, Brussels, Belgium
April 19 2019 – Fusebox Festival, Austin, United States
November 3 2018 – shadow duet version with performer Eugene Choi, Cement Fondu, as part of the exhibition Warm Bodies, Sydney, Australia
October 6 2018 – Cement Fondu, as part of the exhibition Warm Bodies, Sydney, Australia
August 11 2017 – Auto Italia, as part of the exhibition Nature of the Hunt, London, United Kingdom

Photos, 2017-23, by Diana Panuccio, Katarzyna Perlak, Keelen O’Heir, Nicholas Umek, Amanda Winkles, and Four Minutes to Midnight