Home > Artists 2017 > Adam Hines-Green – U.S./UK – Visual art and Installations/Performance

Adam Hines-Green – U.S./UK – Visual art and Installations/Performance


Lives and works in London. b.1988 in Los Angeles.

2016-2018 Royal College of Art – Fine Art, Sculpture

2011-2014 University College London – Medicine

2008-2011 University of Cambridge – Medical Sciences (double first), History of Art (first) 

I work across video, text, objects and performance to explore how narratives can be represented, translated and manipulated. I am interested in how events and stories can be taken on journeys, losing and gathering meaning in transit. The work is often a temporary and site-specific response to that particular moment on the narrative’s journey, one moment of many including its origin, reception, documentation and distribution.


THE ROAD as a Ritual

A Digestive Tract


An interactive performance in the former science classroom of the former school building of the village. The journey progresses through the digestive tract from mouth to anus using found props, furniture, and the architecture of the classroom. X-rays of a variety of pathological conditions preventing progress through the digestive tract are discussed as we begin to make the unconscious progress of digestion conscious again. Found photographs depicting military and industrial exercises from the 60s and 70s are also included on the walls. The performance finishes with my exit through the first floor window. Translated live courtesy of Enik Palov and Teodora Constantinova.

bulg 1


bulg3 1










Loose Script for A Digestive Tract:

at every stage – we progress
the checkpoint
the catastrophe

start at chalkboard

The gut is a road through the body. The road is in a tunnel [draw tunnel]
It is a home for the external world within us [draw human around tunnel]
We are the material that surrounds that tunnel
We have to decide what of the outside world to take in and what to use, THEN what to absorb, and what to remove / [draw vector through body]
step down from chalkboard and walk long way round to table saying the first line

It is essential to the process of digestion that there is movement
the movement must always be forward [use pointer ahead of you as you walk]
there must be continuous progress from the start of the journey to the end [upturn capillary tube]
and it must operate unconsciously but continuously in the background [turn on record player with record]
We only become aware of this activity when there is catastrophe [drop object] and when things stop moving [watch it stop]

Move to dinner table
We start at the meal, this communal environment [offer the mayor’s grapes around]
We see the object and we want to internalise it [invite viewer to rip off portion of paper and scrunch paper into ball]
We target the food object of an appropriate size and force it into the mouth [put in your mouth, take out]
By teeth and tongue we attack: incisors slice, molars crush in an act of profound violence toward the world around us [slice with chopping object, ask viewer to stir and smash soft object in a beaker]

Walk to epiglottis (“we progress”)
The tongue pushes the object to the back of the mouth and the palate into the pharynx, and muscle propels it down and back. This is the last moment of conscious control until the very end of the journey [person pushes square off top of cabinet onto folding table]
The epiglottis is a trapdoor that guides us into the oesophagus and stomach and not the trachea and lungs [demonstrate lungs in cabinets – air spaces] – catastrophe – when we choke [pull out trapdoor so object nearly lands on floor]
Talk about the images of barium swallows
But we are not there yet:

Walk to pharynx/oesophagus (“we progress”)
Point to location on a person
The oesophagus has its own sphincter which controls entry to the stomach – it must relax. Too tense and we cannot progress [invite to pour into test/capillary tube]

Walk to oesophagus/stomach (“we progress”)
Point to location on a person
We travel down the oesophagus [invite to slide small object down through glass tube]
Attacking with acid and enzymes, and being churned over [cut open stomach, agitate flasks within]
The stomach is a digestive pouch with a muscular, ridged velvety wall [point and discuss inverted map of Bulgaria, of pyloric stenosis, of the bagpipe]; it is an organ which can expand to accommodate material, but also contract to expel material – up – as vomit, down, for digestion
There is this continuous agitation with waves of contraction towards the exit point [invite to throw ball into hole in classroom wall]
This too must relax

Walk to the small intestine (“we progress”)
Point to location on a person
Movement at this stage is ensured by peristalsis which propels material along the tunnel [invite to perform peristalsis with the scissoring object]; [point through the gut loops of the shelves]
This repeatedly applies pressure to ensure forward progress; from the small to the large intestine
And the site where the failure to progress can have its gravest consequences – features: vomiting, abdominal pain, distension, absolute constipation; [invite to blow up two balloons, one with a hole] – a good ballon and a good digestive tract

Walk to the sigmoid colon (“we progress”)
We approach the later stages of the journey, [climb onto desks], as we take a final turn towards the ending.
This is Hirschprung’s Disease, where there are no neurones in this last stage of the bowel – there is no exerted pressure and no movement as a result
At this stage we have taken almost all we need, leaving the relics of the digestive process – 1. in the body, and 2. what we think of as the waste. A transformation of this grape in entirely new forms

We enter the rectum, a waiting area, and are met by the gates of the anus. This has two sphincters
The first is not under voluntary control [ask person to open first window]
It is only at the the second sphincter that we can again decide: the first moment where we take back control since swallowing [open second window]
Where we again decide for ourselves when to exclude, and to produce [turn and jump out the window]



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *