commissioned and produced by Performance Space
Liveworks Festival, Sydney, 2016
Commissioned by the Liveworks Festival 2016, Cleansing Service is a performance-based installation with one-on-one encounter. Equal parts washroom, baptism and conversation, Cleansing Service invites audience members to remove traces of dirt, guilt, regret and the remnants of the day in a shared act of purification.
A visitor is invited to enter the installation space surrounded by more than one hundreds of bottles of water individually labeled with different word. The visitor picks up a bottle with a sceptic word that is connected to his/her personal situation physically or emotionally and at the same time he/she would like to wash away. The artist washes the visitor’s hands ritualistically. The artist drinks the unclean water as a replacement.
As these ablutions take place, Cleansing Service examines the relationship between the body and ritual, bridging the sacred and the everyday. River Lin transforms the medium of water—with its historical links to healing and cleansing rites—in a private, intimate, and transcendent exchange.