Wednesday, 18 June 2008

looking backwards to progress forwards?

tonight it has dawned on me that i have been panicking about the perception i am not evaluating my work enough and it has occured to me that whilst this may in part be true, that the blogging does not exclusively show my process of review and elimination nor all the work undertaken- to date i have 6 A5ish size moleskin notebooks full of notes, sketches, analysis, piles of photograms, folders of photos unpublished on here from across the duration of the course. also, a lot of my evaluation of my work or notes taken from events i go to, or are done on the go, on the bus or tube. i think that the blog is a snapshot, all be it a good one of my development but its not exclusive. should i be submitting these books for assessment? what's the relationship between these and my blog?

i have been thinking back to the 3 performances- doug has said to evaluate and edit my body of experimentation- be reductive. the nunnery was my starting place for my own work this year and i have shown on here how the work developed as photo stories, videos, critical studies references, participant feedback from rehearsals and the notes form various post performance meetings with participants, including jordan mc are in my moleskins and on here.

Am ransacking my moleskins and blog:

Of prime importance from the nunnery (in) visible exchange were these areas;

• story was strong, friendly, funny at times, people related to this loss of innocence

• self was calm, well presented. at times exhaustion was evident though.

• strong sense of intimacy in proximity, tone of voice, being put at ease

• separation of closet from outside world good through use of radio

• ensure my work is a performance and not a mere illustration of barthes work- leave space for the viewer to mull things over, digest, don't overly spell things out

• ensure attention is directed on where you want it at the right time- don't let things compete

• too many endings

• very upbeat and strong sense of togetherness

the EEC (in)visible performance then was pitched as the same, but adapting to site of a post room/kitchen.

I wanted to;

• be more playful in the contrasts- calm, silent, and then telling a story with funny anecdotes

• push the precision, attention to detail, slow down my actions when working non-verbally

• use some stand up comedy ideas about extreme contrasts in mood to draw the viewer in, and dark humour to maybe oppose this- shredder.

• Pace and structure the event better- use of usher

• Get feedback from a range of experienced live artists which I did apart form in the feedback session I managed to direct the talk to documentation- and not the work- doh!

• Shift the active and passive roles between self and participant to encourage co-authorship

• Reconsider the endings in response to site- yes and well received

One person came to both shows and said they felt the new version was tighter, the structure clearer and story less obviously or verbally connected to traces, moments.

Issues arising

• experience starts from the moment arriving outside the door- was too informal on occasions

• usher very efficient- she’s a teacher don’t you know ;) and perhaps over zealous on checking and approving peoples pocket objects- lost the element of surprise- I could have been clearer on this

• black out of space using felt- kept falling down- need to reconsider this technicality

• how much do I work and the participant work?

• Whats in it for the participant- why bother?

• Why do I use photography? Why photograms in particular

• Is it just the darkness of the room which generates the intimacy? Or how am I creating this- becoming more self aware

These last few points I am examining in the cross-MA post grad forum tomorrow, trying out different ways in creating intimacy (daylight, body language more apparent, proximity in bigger space, how I need to re-work my structure etc) and different photo methods. I envisage these experiments will either reinforce for me why I use my previous techniques, or establish new ones and reasons why to emply them; most importantly I hope I will gain an understanding of why I do what I do.

I am putting the space-in-between after this, as although it was between the nunnery and EEC, it was a significantly different performance- working with laura bean, a VLPer from a theatre background, we were experimenting with combining our fine art/theatre backgrounds and, for me, seeing what happens when there is a more theatrical development of the photogram process- away from the non-matrixed ideals- and exploring of persona, narrative, use of 2 performers.

For more on this project see the space-in-between on the left hand side of the blog.

Some notes I made;

• This was a brilliant experience to finish what laura and I started in November- surrendering an item- and now with the hindsight of a greater understanding of performance.

• The exchanges went well after we warmed up on our poor specimens lena and stevie- note- don’t try to run something when the participants don’t come equipped :(

• I found I really enjoyed working with someone else who’s really inspiring- brainstorming together, pushing the work further, questioning its every detail form all angles. Performing together and assigning roles each felt comfortable with

• Time in the space was crucial- we ran out of time to properly run everything before the Saturday event due to seemingly endless props, hanging things, technical stuff- did we need it all? And cost! No one heard the clock ticking sound I spent a long time sorting out.

• We really responded to site exploring real and fictive histories- centering on the meaning of the site as a redundant factory and soon to be contemporary apartments and the actions with the photograms signified this- deconstructing exchanged items rather than constructing them and letting their photogrammed trace disappear, and exchanging the items for a unique, one-off photogram framed in an ikea frame and neatly bubble wrapped

• I loved the shredder- the juxtaposition of very carefully folding each carbon copied proforma and whipping onto the table the shredder, making eye contact before shredding, playing with the non verbal, also use of eye contact when swiping onto the floor the remnant of the deconstructed items to create tension.

• Not sure who we actually were being in the end? People said we could have been more bored, robotic, factory like in form filling? And consider outfits more? Am i interested in being anyone other than myself- not really as my work is anecdotal.

All in all I learnt a lot from the space-in-between project and feel my cat wreath work to be presented tomorrow, and outlined in my posts on it is a playful mix of (in)visible exchange and space in between. I hope to consolidate my knowledge further by discussing the reactions of the viewers to it and learning more about the WHY and RECEPTION of the work I am making.

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