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SPILL 15 – Heather Cassils: Inextinguishable Fire

Image: Inextinguishable Fire, Burn for Portrait, 2015 photo: Heather Cassils with Robin Black.


To purchase as part of the SPILL All-Seeing Pass or SPILL Week 2 Pass pass please call Toynbee Studios box office on 020 7650 2350. For individual tickets please visit the National Theatre website.

Cassils’ work Inextinguishable Fire speaks to the impossibility of representing certain forms of trauma and violence. How can we enact empathy when our own situation is so removed from the atrocities of torture and war?

SPILL presents two works in conversation: in both a live performance and a film Cassils engages in a treacherous fire stunt. Using techniques borrowed from Hollywood stunts, Cassils experiences the very real human terror of being lit on fire. Cassils gesture of self-immolation speaks to both the desire for and the impossibility of knowing such horror, even while decisively aiming to approach it.

“When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you’ll shut your eyes. You’ll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you’ll close them to the memory. And then you’ll close your eyes to the facts.” Harun Farocki.

Inextinguishable Fire unpacks the often unquestioned “documentarian truth value” associated with mediated images and demands the viewer witnesses the construction of violence.

Duration: 45 mins. 

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Date and time

8 November 2015

Please note
This is now a past event.


National Theatre (Dorfman Theatre) then outdoor film screening at Southbank Centre