After Joe Bonomo (Installations)
A large, well-lit, white-walled room. You walk to a red line painted on the floor.
You hear something crackling before you see it – an electric wire set-up that runs from ground to ceiling. On a wooden table to the right are a mix of different objects – a tennis ball, a jar of fireflies, a balloon and a glass of water. You select the tennis ball and throw it at the fence. There is a sharp sound as the tennis ball is singed and falls, rolling to your feet. The crackling gets louder and does not return to the original volume. You take the balloon. You have move closer to the fence to let the balloon reach it. The balloon, as you expect, explodes with a bang. There is a faint smell of burnt rubber as the yellow shreds slip to the ground. The crackling amplifies further.
You pick up the jar of fireflies and grasp it firmly as you edge closer to the crackling fence. Slowly, you turn and open the lid, holding the mouth of the jar as close to the wire as you are brave enough to. The fireflies flit out, flying into the electric fence. They burn hysterically and majestically, then fall to the ground. You see, faintly, the trailing of their wings behind them. Every firefly dies the same way.
Slowly, you replace the glass jar on the table, staring hollowly at the fireflies the whole time.
Finally, you take the glass of water. You close your eyes and pour it over yourself gently. You hear a small, long sound from your lips – “ssssssssssssssssss”.
For days after, every shower returns you to the electric fence, naked and burning.