During my time at Tempting Failure, as well as performing I was fortunate enough to be invited to write about the performances alongside other artists and also David LaGaccia of Incident Magazine.
I wrote my responses to the work of Sue Fox, Helena Goldwater, Jin Bells and also Robert Hesp. For Robert Hesp’s piece I also participated in the work, ‘Bathe’ in which I took a bath in front of an audience for 15 minutes; so my written response is from the eyes of the viewer and the participant. (Please click links above to read my responses / reflections on the work.)
Being in the position of writer for these performances was a fantastic experience, but I did feel the pressure of knowing my words would be made public. It is a strange thing to write reflectively for public consumption; and I suppose each response is personal to me, so there is a chance that I completely misread the work! That was a concern for me….that the artist would read the review and feel like I have written about an alien work. But I suppose each artist is aware that when they hand their work over to the view of ‘the other’ that it will become a subjective experience, personal to the viewer. I suppose this is one of the exciting things about when you make art…it takes on a life of it’s own when it leaves your hands or body. In fact, it takes on lives of it’s own. It becomes multi-dimensional in the different perspectives through which it is seen. Those different perceptions are something that the artist has little to no control over. It is like some sort of child that is birthed into the world and then takes on a life outside the grasp of the artist, (well, that is the case for the work that makes it beyond the artist’s studio and into the gaze of others!).
I need to remind myself of these points, as an artist, as a lover of art and also as a writer! The artist doesn’t necessarily ‘own’ the art or even the ideas surrounding it… the artist births it, facilitates it’s journey into the world, shapes it. The artist is a point of connection of experiences and thoughts. The artist makes connections between these experiences and thoughts and then places the outcomes into the world, which then continues the cycle of new connections. The artist is the alchemist.