Parys Mountain: Alchemy of Landscape

Rotie, Marie-Gabrielle and Parkin, Nick. 2020. Parys Mountain: Alchemy of Landscape. [Digital]

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Abstract or Description

This research output comprises a digital archive created by Marie-Gabrielle Rotie containing three decades of Practice Research:

Parys Mountain: Alchemy of Landscape contributes to, and expands upon, research within the fields of site-based art and performance, and also dialogues with geology and archaeology (Pearson, 2001). The research aims to deconstruct both the romantic notion of the Sublime in relation to this landscape, and the modern quest for progress (Dillon, 2011; Schama, 2006), in order to underscore urgent ecological issues, enabling spectators to focus on questions of decay, time and history intrinsic to both the human body and the non-human world (Gablik, 1995; Smithson, 1979).

Butoh is a post-World War Two performance philosophy foregrounding subjective and improvisatory movement and the performer’s imaginative faculties to provoke the performance of transformation into something ‘other’, in particular the non-human (1). I am an expert in Butoh (Fraleigh, 2010) and a trained visual artist. I investigate ways of forging these disciplines through engaging in visual and performed acts of physical transformation, immersion and duration, to encounter both the Parys Quarry – the object of this research and site of my performances – and the body as ‘artefact’ and ‘ruin’.

Parys Mountain: Alchemy of Landscape assembles material created collaboratively with Nick Parkin, over a thirty-year period, during which time technologies have radically shifted from analogue to digital. The resultant meshing of ‘vintage’ and contemporary documentary languages – embracing Super-8, projected slide and print film, field-recorded sound, digital visual and sonic technologies – and embodied research, consciously plays with notions of archaeology: our language of documentation involves the methodology of accumulating composite layers and our obsessive macro-documentation of the surfaces of the site itself. The act of documentation generates dialogue, opening questions of how we might embody a site (Smithson, 1967, Kwon, 2002).

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)



Event Location:

Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2013 11:48

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2021 15:38


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