Performance- where I’m at.

Here is the link to the film Paul made of the crawl performance.

Night Crawl. Performed October 5th Ennis, Co CLare. Film by Paul Corey.

Paul’s film is his own edit of the performance. He is going to submit it to some film festivals which hopefully will allow him some accrediation which he very much deserves as he did all this for free.

I have been at a bit of a loss since this performance. What to do next? Repeat the performance in a bigger town? Possibly but I’d need more money, people, and more permissions to do it ona larger scale. Try and apply for more stuff using the performance as experience?

Well that is the first thing I did and I spent a good few days applying to Compass Live Art festival in Leeds, UK for their festival for 2020. I used a different performance idea though, the idea I have been working on entitled The Best Medicine. Having submitted the proposal I could see that it fitted their brief very well in some areas and not so well in others so we will see. Which begs the question, do you change your idea to fit the brief every time or do you stick to your concept and do your best to explain how the concept could work?

Anyway I had made a deal that regardless of my situation, I would continue to generate self intitiated performance works, locally if necessary. I have 2 particular ideas that I want to perform, ideally before xmas if possible.

The first is initally called Pack/Unpack. The idea came from thinking about what I CAN do here and now, performance wise, as opposed to what I canot do. I was thinking a lot about the idea of places of transit, where everyone is passing through. And about how shit I am at packing, and how the ownership and management of stuff seems to overtake my life and is somehting I find very stressful. When me and my husband were coming home from vancouver 10 years ago with a new baby in tow, we found our luggage was hugely overweight and we had to open our suitcases right there in departures, in front of the queue, with the baby in his carry cot looking on, and put various stuff into the bin on order to make it light enough to pay for the luggage. I remember it being stressful and embarrasing, and also the emotional cost of throwing stuff out and thinking afterwards about the value we place in STUFF.

Performance: My plan is to get permission from Shannon airport to make a performance there, and to spend a 2/3 hour period somewhere public in the departures area, packing and unpacking a big suitcase packed full of stuff, over and over again. Ideally I would do this pre-christmas when its a chaotic and emotionally charged place with lots of people coming and going. I am sourcing the right personnel to contact about this at present.

The second idea is The Best Medicine. See idea behind this, as copied from an earlier post:

“The idea is a golden painted figure in golden robes- a lifesize buddha- sat x-leggged in repose, un moving, eyes closed. In front of them sits a bowl. If a coin is thrown in the buddha figure ‘wakes up’ at the clattering sound and laughs loudly. Then returns to a meditative stillness. The concept being that of course, laughter is the best medicine, but there is a price, like everything in life. Can happiness be bought? I am interested in the juxtaposition of the jolly buddha with the un-predicatablity of the mad Colonel Kurtz. There are also obvious connotations with homelessness and begging. Would need to be treated carefully and any money that was actually put into the bowl would need to be donated. Or would you give them money to throw? Liek a parent gives their kid a copper to throw into the wishing well? This idea is very much at a starting stage. The idea of myself (cant afford to pay someone else right now 🙂 ) being the jolly laughing buddha, as a bony 44 year old white female, adds another layer of surreality. Public space? Gallery? Festival? “

So I have used this to apply to Compass Live Art but I want to do the performance here somewhere, soon. Ideally places that it might work would be a train station, again a place of transit. A train station has people moving constantly, which would provide the necessary juxtapostion between the seated motionless figure and the constant motion of people around them. The connotations of the performance are about meditation, laughter, begging, homelessness, repetition, chinese symbolism, vulnerability, unpredictability, visual spectacle.

Here are some visuals and a preparatory exercise I did to develop the idea.

I made this to try out the Laughing Buddha concept. I sat for 6 minutes approx and laughed every 30 seconds or so (counting inside my head obviosuly) I wanted to see how it felt to try it out and to also experience the self immersed state of being sat with eyes closed, only opening my eyes while laughing.

Above are visual ideas as to how the performance might look. I am going to try and get a more cohesive visual by trying out some gold body paint and getting some photos done so its easier to visualise.

Body Alphabet: I am looking at ways to source funding to take the Body Alphabet into schools. It ticks a lot of boxes such as fitness, literacy, art, learning, etc. I would love to workshop it with school kids, particularly primary chool I reckon. Possible funding sources: Creative Ireland, HSE, Arts Council. Hoping to move on this for Jan 2020.

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