OK. Kids went to school this morning. First time in 6 months I’ve been on my own in house. Hard to digest. I want to drink coffee and look at clothes websites. HOWEVER.
Thinking about last 5 tasks for INTBR series.
First- to review what tasks Ive already done:
Tasks 1-5: Strength training tasks used as a tool to maintain strength and to manage anxiety. . Site: the base of Mullaghmore, Burren, Co Clare Why: To carry out the tasks in a magnificent, awe-inspiring environment where the actions would appear suitably insignificant in the greater scheme of things
Training Task 1: Sledgehammer blows. To maintain strength and manage anxiety, using my sledgehammer and tyre. Also being able to smash something. Training Task 2: Sledgehammer 10/2’s. This is an exercise traditionally done using a mace, but a long handled sledgehammer works just as well. Great for upper body strength and shoulder mobility. Training Task 3: Weighted squats wearing my weights vest. It has removable weights so as to customise its weight but for this task I kept it full, at 20kg. A human moves differently when weighed down. Training Task 4: Travelling Lunges, which are good for building lower body strength. Training Task 5: Bear Crawling which is excellent for building core strength and neural coordination. These strength/art actions were performed at the base of Mullaghmore, Burren, Co Clare, so as to meet the Covid 19 pandemic social isolation guidelines. 27/3/20
Tasks 6-10: based loosely around the idea of flight or flight. Site: Our Lady’s Hospital, a now disused psychiatric hospital in Ennis, Co Clare. Why: The hospital looms large and dominates visually, rendering my presence and actions (nearly) insignificant. Making the work felt like a fight to establish presence.
Task 6: Here I can be seen standing on the front steps of the hospital making a speech, to an imaginary crowd. I regard public speaking as a very important skill. Who knows when you might be called upon to address a group of people? I’m wearing a ‘good’ dress as there’s no point waiting for an event to wear it. I’ve created my own occasion.
Task 7: Pacing back and forth. Pacing back and forwards might not be regarded as a particularly important skill but it’s a way to kill time when waiting for something to happen. If society breaks down and we no longer have mobile phones to occupy us all day, pacing back and forth could possibly become a highly prized activity.
Task 8: Running. Here I can be seen running as fast as I can past the hospital. I regard running fast as a very important skill. Who knows when you might need to get away fast from a situation, or chase after the last vehicle leaving a condemned area?
Task 9: Push Ups. Push ups are important. Who knows when you might need the upper body strength that push ups will give you to push open the jammed bulkhead of a sinking sea vessel, or to clear a path through a hysterical mob? Or the obvious one; to show your physical prowess in a push up competition?
Task 10: Waiting. I regard waiting as a very important skill. Here I am fighting the urge to take flight, ha ha, as waiting goes against my natural instincts, which are to NOT wait, as I am a hugely impatient person who hates queuing or waiting for anything. Waiting could prove to be a very relevant skill if one was to find oneself incarcerated for any length of time, or if you live in a future post apocalyptic world where the wifi comes on once a week.
Tasks 11-15: based about social isolation in the midst of people. Site: Ballybeg woods, Co Clare, 19/6/2020. Why: The trees looms and dominate the space in a similar way to the hospital, but in a more engulfing way.
Here in task 11, I am trying to blend into the background. Blending in is something I stopped trying to do years ago, but I regard it as an important skill in the possible event of social breakdown when free thinkers might be seen as dangerous.
Task 12: Hugging. Hugging is now the new luxury. I predict hugging, which can lower your risk of anxiety, depression and illness could become a highly prized commodity in our new socially distanced world. This rock appeared unresponsive to my hug but maybe I succeeded in igniting some oxytocin in its cold damp depths.
Task 13: Shouting. Being able to shout loudly is a very useful skill, and my lungs have never failed me yet. It’s an obviously useful skill if in danger and the need to communicate loudly arises. It’s also very cathartic and good for waking up the adrenal glands. Go ahead and try It today.
Task 14: Hanging. Being able to hang off a bar or branch by your hands is a very useful skill, if you should find yourself in such a situation. It’s worth a go just to find out what thoughts go through your head as you dangle. Also this action is an homage to the artist Bas Jan Ader, who liked to test gravity and his own resilience with art actions.
Task 15: Hiding. Hiding is a very useful skill, especially in this dystopian world where we can be tracked through satellite and phone signals. In this world where we make ourselves very much visible and available through social media and communication systems, concealing oneself away for a while can be cathartic.
THIS TIME: I want to make the work in a church. thinking about wearing my wedding dress. fits in again with making your own occasion. dressing up. re-using. also its red. and red is not traditionally a colour in western religion. It needs to be a church big enough to allow work to be shot in same way as before- background taking up the main space, artist actions small relatively. Possible tasks:
Carry (a person) to safety. also a wonderful subversion of male character carrying female
Pull (a large object- suitcase? statue?) pulling someone out of something or away from something. dragging a large suitcase up the aisle..
Argue– Reason (possibly with an effigy- statue- religious?) manage scared/stressed/angry people
Push (a car) so as to be able to use strength to deal with a situation
climbing being able to climb up a building/tree, away from danger, is obv useful
mourning. being human in an inhuman time.
meditating. Finding a way to stay calm and present in the midst of chaos. sat at the top of a church under an alter, away from effigy, silent.
I plan to go and visit some churches in Ennis to see if this could be a runner. Paul C suggested the Cathedral in Ennis, and gave me a contact for the Priest who is in charge of it.
Next.. trying to get the logistics sorted for the Austrian show with Kirsty, Marten, Barbara and Jon. We had a chat last night and I floated the idea of a live link up performance to the opening night, on October 6..
‘Also did you think any more about the logistics of a live performance on the night of the opening, it could even be done on instagram live for the benefit of the opening but which anyone could log onto and watch. I thought about going through some of the tasks, in a specific space, which could be streamed in the gallery if there was a way to do it, or people could simply be sent a link to the performance and a start time.. everyone has a smart phone now 🙂 It would be the ultimate message to nowhere , the theme of our work.. I thought it would be a way to add something to the opening, as the theme is about connectivity and if I cannot be there I can at least be there though digital streaming. I was simply thinking it might work as an extra aspect of the opening night. I could just make the performance and if people see or not it doesn’t really matter. I would see it as another aspect of the show, like another wall in the gallery, this one just viewable through a link on your phone. And rather than try and set up more stressful tech in the gallery we just give people a link to the watch on their own device, which everyone has now. Their own mini portals in their pockets!’
So I need to have rehearsed and made at least one insta/facebook live performance before this time. Obv have already done this when I livestreamed the night Crawl. So just need to do this again as its been a while..
Making Space- Business as usual, is running from 25 – 26th October. Sending work up to be included, also talking to them re coming up to do a live performance in the shopping centre where they are based.
“Seeing You Seeing Me” Re-Vision Festival event in Catalyst Arts on the 26th September at 12pm. Am doing this. I submitted the WTF idea for this. SO it would be a good one to do as a FB/insta live performance first..