Catherine Richards at the Biennale of Sydney 2004
Catherine Richards exhibited her installation I was scared to death / I could have died of joy at the Biennale of Sydney, which opened on June 4, 2004 and continued until August 15, 2004 in Sydney, Australia. The exhibition explored the theme "On Reason and Emotion".
This artwork explores the aesthetics of emotion as mediated through science and technology. I was scared to death / I could have died of joy invites the participation of the spectator -- one’s presence and touch affect the flow of voltage and gases in each of two glass “brains” -- and plays with the electro-chemistry of human emotion. Critic and theorist Frances Dyson of the University of California at Davis has written an essay about the work for the Biennale catalogue. Dot Tuer, a distinguished writer on contemporary Canadian art, recently contributed an essay to the catalogue Excitable Tissues that contextualizes the work. Both authors, and the respective publishers, the Biennale of Sydney and the Ottawa Art Gallery, have generously allowed the essays to be reproduced here.