]performance s p a c e [

In early December one of the most interesting events ion the East London art calendar took place in Hackney Wick: the Draw to Perform symposium.

Curated by artist Ram Samocha, it was a bringing-together of artists who work in in drawing performance for a three day exploration of the current state of the practice.

The programme began with video, presented at the Arebyte Gallery, featuring the likes of Steward Brisley, Tony Orrico and others.

The next day featured a live presentation at nearby Performance Space, by a range of artists in different kind so performances, featuring Robert Luzar, Kimbal Quist Bumstead, Katrina Brown, Ram Samocha, Hannah Turner Wallis, Nazir Tanbouli, Sally Madge, Jane Grisewood and Carali McCall and John Court. This was followed by a symposium on the third day with talk and discussion. The whole project was documented on and sustained by a substantial facebook group (link below)

Due to other commitments I was only able to attend the live performance day, which was exciting and fascinating in the sheer variety of what “drawing performance” could mean. Although it was a symposium and not a formal exhibition – and as such possibly more to the immediate benefit of those artists working in drawing performance – it was clear to me that there is something really important happening to both drawing and performance here.

As a curator, I have many time worked with performance art ( and to my mind much of the performance I have seen has been about the body as the site of art, the exploitation of the body as art, pushing the boundaries of the body as art. Draw to Perform showed me something very different: the discipline of the body to make art. Using the body as a tool in drawing, and making brilliant drawings in the process. It was uncomplicated, honest, rigorous, simple, difficult, challenging – an eye opener. The whole idea is exhilarating. I can’t wait to see more of it.