In Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, when mermaids die they dissolve into sea foam because they have no souls.

In Whitney Vangrin's performance piece Sea Foam, she prepares a mat of white sheet foam by spreading a big tub of lard all over it and then soaking it — and, ultimately, her white tank top-, white jeans-clad self — with a plastic bottle-full of ocean water, complete with sand and bits of seaweed. As an ethereal electro-vocal track rises, she begins a sliding, swaying, moonwalk-like 'dance' that evolves into full-body writhing on the mat. She repeatedly throws herself down onto it with enough force to turn her back bright red and even kind of bloody, as if she were herself the kinetic energy that would generate spume out of basic elements. As her thrashing gets more violent, the recorded sound grows steadily darker and more heavily rhythmic.

-Kyra Kordoski

for White Fungus

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