New Dawn Fades
- Artist: Marit Følstad
- Creation date: 2010
- Object type: Video art
The bubble has been a recurring theme in the art of Marit Følstad, who was educated in Glasgow and Chicago. In many of her works with this motive, the bubble loses something of its inherently fragile character. In the two-channel video piece New Dawn Fades, the balloon is not thin, and there is no risk of it bursting. Its black rubbery surface looks thick – it could be a gymnastics ball, or the sort of ball children use for jumping around. It has the sturdy outdoor appearance of camping items. Rubber boats, tyre tubes and their smell come to mind – a strong and chemical smell, like factory rubber.
It is not only their robustness and the association with SM equipment that makes Følstad’s bubbles more menacing than frail. In Blow Up # 1 from 2002, the action of blowing up the rubber ball leaves the performer literally beaten and spat upon. In Bubbles from 2003, we see Følstad chewing bubblegum and blowing bubbles. When a bubble bursts, she collects the soft remains of gum from around her face with a finger, puts them back into her mouth and continues chewing. In New Dawn Fades the black rubber bubble/ball hits the artist’s face before wobbling off in slow motion, again and again. It is the repetitive character of her performance that turns the fun children’s activity into obsessive behavior hinting at trauma and abuse. Many of Følstad’s works deal with these ambiguous moments, where fun or desire turn to pain. The artist shows her own face painfully unemotional after seemingly intense physical experiences.