A huge amount of hesitation is going on at this point for me.  I’m needing to understand the context of live-art, the area I’ve stepped into.  I find I am doing live-art performances, yet have started before taking stock of the context.

My first live-art piece was the first appearance of the Lost Library at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod in 2016.  In the autumn of 2015 when I dreamt up the idea of making a part of  Abergavenny Library mobile and take from the building and onto the festival site. (Except this is not the whole truth.  Really I wanted dancers to respond to text/bring text to life, maybe even within the library, but I couldn’t find available dancers.)

My reasoning was to do with wanting text to become physical  to move.  (and not brave enough to do it myself).  Also, being told many times by people that I am not a performer.  Which has truth in it, but, but, but  But also motivated by the knowledge of losing so many libraries.  Along the way many elements came into the end result.  Being in the middle of it its harder to understand what others might have seen in their encounter with the lost library.  The ingredients of the performance where:

Time

7 days on the festival site

What

An old wheelbarrow filled with plants
A big roll of text from the book Border Country by Raymond Williams
Music coming from the wheelbarrow
A speech in Welsh and English translation attempting to explain the whole piece.

Who

Myself
a volunteer Welsh speaker to read the Welsh speech
a librarian.

Also

Musician composed three pieces using the book as theme source material
Art student adapted a 1950s wheelbarrow to take the roll of paper
Local gardening group grew from seed plants mentioned in the book.

 

Clearly  looking back, I had far too much going on!~

This was useful, yet incredibly stupid.  Less is more and how did I end up with all those elements mixed in?  Well, for starters, I had a long time to prepare, this I realise is terrible with something so site specific.   What would have been more useful would be to (get commissioned) and have a simple kit ready, a simple plan and then adapt as I go and allocate myself tonnes of time during something like 7 days in a row (almost, it was Fri, Sat, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat) and by the Weds I was warming up and stayed up till the early hours painting a translation of the speech onto a roll of paper, as the Welsh was getting glazed looks.  The communication is important to me.  And the working from the seat of my pants works in this kind of environment.

Festivals are for flexing,  experimenting with an element of practice.   I did this yet in several different languages and the message was messy.


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Having worked with words and text for a long while, I’m finding I now need to seriously limit my use of them; only reading and writing what is essential.

Doing as much research through video and imagery, and doing things rather than writing about them.

I wrote around a month ago ‘This season I will mostly be wearing my actions.” As I was clarifying my practice.

I have held back from really diving into live-art.  I find when I look at LADA (link) and ArtAdmin (link) that I feel I don’t fit there either.  What I see there is louder and clearer than my work.  I feel I’m working with subtleties.

I having been thinking and mulling and procrastinating so much, because I’m really nervous of where I’m going.  I had a notion to do my giving out words silently in the centre of a tourist city (wanting as much interaction as I can get).  I have now sourced a black and white stripy jacket, I just need a plastic crate, black fabric and cartridge holder (for the jars of words).

In my last live-art appearance in Deptford I was silent for 6 hours.  This was far more engaging and exciting than I’d imagined it could be.  I’d reduced the text down to giving out one word and a lost library membership card.  But there were written instructions all around, but I don’t think these clarified the piece for anyone.

Distilling this piece further to only giving out the one word and having none of the other paraphernalia with me, just what I am wearing and something to stand on so I am noticed (and hopefully approached)

The lost library handle could go now..It’s moved on from being about libraries to minimising text and maximising physical interaction.

I’ve become disillusioned with text.  It doesn’t live up to its promises, but physical action and interaction can.

Text is no longer my most expressive material,  my feet are.

Now – this appears to be a jump from what I’ve been producing to now and that statement, but it’s been there throughout my life.

Being attuned to the environment I’m in through my senses but primarily my feet and physical gestures – AKA over-sensitivity – is something I need to face through my practice.  (not sure of this sentence, it’s sideways)

I feel connected with my direct environment.  I’ve been attempting to communicate an idea through the live-art I’ve been doing, though not very clearly to myself and others.

It’s now a good time to review the Dancing in the Galleries conversations I had much earlier in the year at Oriel Davies.

 


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