Saturday, 6 September 2008

day one: thursday 4th sept: shedding tears

first night of shed was extremely mixed and felt a lot better about it the day after: sheer exhaustion, both mentally and physically, and the pressure of assessment nearly tipped me right over. plus I was more nervous than i'd been in a long while wanting it to go so well so badly with doug, rebecca, andrew, gerry pilgrim, emma hart, all there who hadn't seen my final performances before and who i wanted to see it work well. in a small intimate space of up to 6 people you can't escape the pressure! I also suffered from the fact that i'd not run the show as a whole once the sheds were built but in parts. trying to find people during the day proved near impossible, the other MA students caught up in their own work and everyone else at work.this meant the fluidity between the parts to make a cohesive whole was not there yet. I bloody realised at the private view!! doh!

there were technical issues- the halogen light not working so in the darkness the second show people couldn't see the camera obscura image, and i ended up with a shed full of soil where people had dug them up, and all fairly mundane reasons for selecting the flowers- i liked it cos it was pink, meant conversations were very limited; i hadn't asked people to dig up a flower that tells a story, just dig up one, in the darkness this was difficult- i didn't think this through enough, resting on EEC and nunnery work. a lesson learnt for this side of things.

but- as is usual practice with me, i decided to think that the whole evening was not great, and in reflections and conversations with those that came, i have realised that its only harsh editing and tweaking in parts that is needed. and the fact that the second show was actually better than the first, I opened up to be me more and be more playful. there is a hell of a lot in my show, but that's who i am and i have a lot to say and share about photography, and being in the moment, woven around the shed idea.

rebecca told me to tell the story from the heart more and relax, and tie it together more. agree, yes. i think this will come. doug said to ditch the digital element, wasn't sure as i wanted the modern disposability of photography to come across, so decided to keep it in and play around with it. others said they liked the surreal nature of it, the charming and engaging story telling in the second show. gerry said it was a lovely performance, really unique quality. emma talked about the 'punk rock' shock of the image being erased hitting you in the guts, and the brilliant exploration of the performativity with photography, also that i was in her present, but not in her presence with the walkie talkies, plus how much she enjoyed the pfaffing and the pacing, felt really natural.emma really enjoyed the first shed, she said she was really gripped, the second shed she felt she cared less about, it was unclear what she was to do, it was too dark to collect a flower- needs greater attention for her or ditch it. we talked about possibly replacing the digital with polaroid if to use that section of the show at all, how that technology fitted, its now redundant, and nostalgic and how you watch the image develop in front of your eyes. possibly come back to that.

my thoughts were that i needed to be clearer with the instructions as people were a little confused, and that i must ask people to tell me a story, and to pick a flower as it has ambiguities of choose or physically remove. i also got frustrated with the paintbrush painting on the developer not giving a sharp image, so ditched this for the second show of the evening. i also had a mad moment in the first show in asking people to unwrap and place my objects which i didn't do in the second show- they are my objects, my story,it wasn't needed and was very time consuming. i have also suffered from feeling i really need to make this show slick- it doesn't suit my style, and to be honest, i feel it would put people off telling me their story- things going not as planned, that's the element of chance in a Happening, and its very shed like.

taking these things on board- the plan for Friday's shows was this;
  • try out different things with the digital image- taking it. think about my presence in this, the atmosphere created to then feed into going into the shed.
  • ensure i ask people to tell me a story and pick a flower.
  • participant to pour the developer into the tray
  • keep me in control of my suitcase objects.
  • less objects in the suitcase

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