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A Life in Diagrams (the Book): A Photo-Essay

Sally J. Morgan


In 1993 artist Sally J. Morgan began developing a series of performances/
installations entitled A Life in Diagrams (numbers 1–5) which were shown
in developing iterations at: Dartington Hall, Devon, UK; the ICA in London;
Le Belluard/Bollwerk International Festival in Fribourg Switzerland; and the
Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. Audiences entered a non-gallery, non-theatre space.
There was no stage or proscenium, and the performance area was marked on
the floor with string and measuring tapes in the manner of an archaeological
excavation. To one side, separate from the box grid, was a low table, so low that
audience members had to kneel to read a book of diagrams, drawn on tracing
paper, that plotted out the artist’s father’s death, dying and the memories that
inflected this process. This essay is a discussion of that work: A Life in Diagrams
(the Book).