The Machinist, Circa 1986

Debbie Guinnane (Ireland)

Sat 07 Nov 2015
Sun 08 Nov 2015

National Theatre Studio



Illustration by Pato Bosich / DARC

A SPACE WHERE THE BODY IS HELD IN A ‘SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF’. TRIGGERING THOUGHTS ON CONTROL; OVER WHICH AN ARTIST HUNGERS

In preparation for the film The Machinist, Christian Bale dropped 63 lbs in the space of four months. His act mimics the hunger artists who starved themselves for public exhibition around North America and Europe, between the 18th and 20th centuries. The Machinist, circa 1986 considers the construction of subjecthood and resistance alongside concerns over body dysmorphia and eating disorders, concepts used by Guinnane as metaphorical processes for performance making.


Debbie Guinnane (b.1986, Ireland) is a visual artist currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She studied Sculpture & Combined Media in LSAD in Limerick, graduating in 2008, before completing her Masters Degree in Visual Arts Practices with IADT in Dublin, 2012. She was rewarded a studentship to pursue a full-time practice-based PhD with Northumbria University, which commenced in October 2014. Guinnane has written, performed and presented work in Turkey, Poland, UK and Ireland.


  • Part of the SPILL Showcase supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation
  • Mentored by Kira O’Reilly

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