Helena van Doeverenplantsoen,
Den Haag, Netherlands
December 2019

Photography by Io Alexa Sivertsen

Nelli Serzanowa

Étude Nº2 is a performance piece I performed in Helena van Doeverenplantsoen 2019. A block of ice serves as a counterweight, balancing against a human body of approximately the same weight. The equilibrium can be viewed as the relationship between man and nature. Étude Nº2 is a continuation of my earlier works on water.

As the ice is sensitive to the room temperature, the ice melts into water and a different recognition of time is implemented through the gradual change within the ice. I have been interested in nature’s grand gestures, the ice’s quick reaction underlines the urgency. As the ice diminishes, the body emerges as heavier. The water can at times appear peaceful, yet it is a brutal force of nature. You can collaborate with the unpredictable and the ruthless, but you have to respect its strength. In one sense it is the ultimate contrast to society, whereas society is constantly trying to conquer new domains, we are still subjected to the water, not vice versa. Perhaps that is why man has always felt not only terrified at sea, but also free.