Performance Now was a three-day event in February at The Roper Gallery in Bath. Arts Editor and curator of the event reflects on the experience.Read More
Today I did a test performance piece at Sion Hill campus in the reception area. I took the idea of using a mask after reading Yoko Ono’s book which gave instructions for a mask performance piece, in which the audience adds the wrinkles and features etc.
However I wanted to relate this idea more towards my project and interests, and so I decided to ask the audience to write about their insecurities.
I started sat at Sion Hill reception, wearing a mask and tying a piece of latex around me like a skin cloak. Next to me was a sign encouraging the audience to interact. Standing next to me, was Zachary, the photographer/encourager. Whenever a person approached nearby Zachary would ask them if they could spare a minute to take part in a performance, whilst I sat silent, looking at my possible audience member.
The majority of the time, people would say no to Zachary, seemingly scared by my appearance. However, some people stopped and participated. Zachary would instruct “Please write any insecurities you have, either on the face or the latex skin”. Nearly every person who participated, would stop still and say they have to think and then they would write. One person however, didn’t need to think and wrote “I have no insecurities”. Some people said that they don’t like to think about their insecurities and this is why they had to think. Some people said they felt uncomfortable talking about it.
I gave people to choice to choose between the mask and the latex skin, to see which they would feel more comfortable touching, this was partly for reference for later performances, and partly to see which area they identify with this theme. The majority of people chose to write on the mask. When faced with the latex skin, it was apparent the back was preferred, it was almost like they didn’t want to face the real me.
This piece took place on a Friday Afternoon, which I mistakingly chose. It turned out Fridays are the quietest days at university, and so I didn’t have as many participants as I would have liked. However, this is a reminder to see timing as an important aspect of performance or an exhibition, something which I actually tell my curator friend a lot (I should listen to my own advice).
Overall this piece, explored confrontation and making the audience uncomfortable. It made the audience confront their own fears, whilst also mine. And explores the idea that props can be documentation. These props now tell a story of a performance.
Record me doing every day things after a seizure.
Have a continuous shot of my face, staring into the camera. Then after a couple of moments, like acapella style videos appear, of repetitive sounds I make when I am anxious or depressed, such as me scratching etc, on a loop. Then near the end record me taking a pill, again looking into the camera, and one by one the sounds disappear.
Record the process of washing hair.
Film a standard shot of Landscape view of the bath with the 2 people inside.
Start the video people already in the bath, and have the woman (myself) looking down, whilst the man (Sam) puts the hair bucket under the water and starts to wet her hair. Emphasis on the sound of this!
The man washes the woman’s hair and puts shampoo and conditioner in and washes both out.
Noise: The woman reading the PIP assessment out, layered over the video.
Emphasis on the man behind the woman, washing her hair.
This video is a representation of anxiety and depression, it is not all just feeling and looking sad. Sometimes my boyfriend needs to help me wash myself, because I will go days without washing as I find it exhausting. Sometimes my anxiety gets so much I can barely lift my arms without my chest hurting, and so I literally need help to wash my hair.
This video will show the reality of living with an invisible illness, and is almost an FU to the Personal Independence Payment company, who said as part of their assessment of me, that I am fine with daily living and therefore receive no funding. Like many other people who have been turned down by the system I am angry and this video is to acknowledge that and hopefully get a response.
Today I cast my arm in silicone, with the intention of using it in a later performance….I wanted detai
Continuing from my exploration with body printing, this is my most recent piece, which I’ve named Bottom’s Up! As they are prints from my buttocks. I find this hilarious, and yet I am fascinated how we can use the human body as a paintbrush.
Playing around in the studio during SPA week, me and Zach wanted to create something and I decided to play on the idea that I want to perform but I’m too scared so I will make others perform for me. So we decided to do an experiment where I tell Zach what to do, improvising with objects in the studio space. It was super fun and I like the idea of giving instructions and making something perform them, I think that there is a lot of ways this can be manipulated.