Treading Water emerged as a way to engage with different temporalities of duration based on what it is we decide to endure with our bodies. With the extraordinarily cold water in Carcavelos beach (Portugal) and the difficulty of treading water while having one point of contact (holding hands) we wanted to test our body limits of temperature and strength. We are also playing on the concept of “treading water,” or the idea of making no progress while still exerting effort, as a performative questioning of inertia.


Video Performance by Dani d’Emilia & Daniel Chávez (Stills)
Duration: 5 minutes
Materials: Work clothes, camera with tripod, open section of sand and water on the beach during daylight, accomplice to film.

Procedure: Walk simultaneously towards the shoreline and join hands right at the water’s edge with mutual initiation. Pause briefly until waves are smooth, then enter water until cannot stand any more. Tread water while holding hands. Once too tired, both submerge in water. Exit water.

This work was part of our residency at Roundabout.lx, Lisbon 2015