Sunday, 6 October 2013

Emergency 2013

Due to the bendy nature of the perception of time it doesn’t feel a year has passed since I was last at Blankspace for the annual day of live art that is Emergency. I wonder what’s ahead of me, crazed hectic performances or something more quiet and thoughtful. It’s hard to judge as I’m the first viewer to arrive I have a go at generating atmosphere but soon enough the final adjustments are adjusted and this is a report of the things I saw in the order I saw them. Just a note I’m going to see these pieces ‘blind’ and not reading the notes provided.

In a little alcove awaits a golden man in a bowler and a suit (I’ve already since this figure before marching in and out of the space) sat behind a small desk he finishes making a print of his hand. He introduces himself in an accent that comes from an imagined Eastern European he briefs me on what’s about to happen. Which is a kind of psychic reading part interview. He paints my hand in golden paint making guesses about my occupation, as he presses my hand against the paper, he says I’m involved in films I tell him I’m a writer. He asks if I lean to the French or the German, French naturally, on this prompt he mentions Paul Vrillo (that’s right I’ve read his stuff) and for a moment I’m amazed by this incredible insight. Despite my knowledge of cold reading there’s an element of me that sees this as an amazing ability. It is a piece of mentalism which relies on given the viewer what they want to hear.

Nearby there is a figure rowing in a sea of gossamer fabric, though it seems there’s a fine line between rower and ‘sea’. She rowing, moving nowhere is she where she needs to be as she sings a wistful mournful song. This figure is at a point that the furthest from any shore, at the point between exertion and exhilaration, at the point where the possibilities of the journey have yet to be fulfilled. In her position in the middle of this fabric ocean she is part of a melancholic lyrical dream.

Lili Spain

There’s another figure sat still at a table which is covered in talc, as is the figure. On entering the space the figure throws more talc on herself then returns to her stillness. I stand watching wondering why, what does it all mean? What processes are trapped in that dusty head? Is there any meaning at all, is the action just a simple action, like a child digging a hole for the sake of digging. Ultimately at this point it is unknowable a set of symbols based on internal codes. As I leave the space she throws more talc on herself.

Kerry Carroll

I’m told a new piece has started and I pass behind a curtain where I discover the figure of a girl dressed in white on the floor. At just her and me at the moment leaning a sense of intimacy to proceedings.  In front of me she delicately roles and stretches and as she does I notice a strange effect. It might be the dim light affecting my perspective but the dancer in front of me seem so small lending her movements a spectral delicately. At points her shadow has as much, if not more of a physically presence in this space as it echoes the expressions of this dancers body.

This piece feels the most ‘performacey’ as it has its specially installed space, in which above a neatly set dinner table hang apples. Maiada enters the space and disrobes she begins to ring a bell announcing the beginning. Though at this point I and two other mistake this as an invitation to take a place at the table, this is a mistake, though Maiada calmly continues, picking and peeling apples despite our unwanted presence. We three interlopers are male and fully clothed what it must look like to have these men served by a figure of a naked woman. In a happy coincidence, later on reading the notes provided I read that part of aBOUD’s practice is the exploration of ‘living in a patriarchal society’  maybe I just trying to justify my blundering presence in an otherwise meditative performance.

Lotta SCAF

Outside there sits the Bank of Change… a piece which attempts to create a dialogue regarding the value of money. Normally I would find piece like this difficult to engage with but recent history has given me an opinion on the matter. So me, the artist, and the others that have gathered chat about the damn oddness of the capitalism and the like. Lotta SCAF proposal for a new economy is definitely intriguing and necessary perhaps.  

Earlier I signed a disclaimer form and instead of waiting I saw other stuff but now I’m back to see what I signed up for. As for some time now a remix of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus has been leaking out from behind a blackout curtain. After been refreshed of the ‘rules’ of the piece I nervously enter the space into a stroboscopic storm into the centre of a circle. I note the blindfolded dark suited figure in the corner. Like something in a dream the figure is in the circle with me and this is where the touching begins. It’s an intimate kind of touching and the whole thing is pretty much like a nightmare I had once I endure as much as I can then leave. Wondering exactly what to take away from this, maybe it’s just the experience of the strange dreamlike environment.

As a welcome difference I look for a piece which offers the chance to hear the most silent place on earth. On meeting the artist she explains that there is a place in the world which well is silent to the point that if recorded it registers in minus decibels. Hard to get your head around. Though that element isn’t important to me, as there is something poetic about the idea of the most silent place in the world and in Sarah Boulton’s need to or wanting to share it with others. Having shared it, listened to I began to question the cultural importance of ‘silence’ or sound, but I’m basis to this kind of thing.

I step outside to watch Paul Hurley run back and forth and watch people join in imaging there breathless conversations, though I don’t join in. Not long after this I leave though this part of Emergency of felt quieter it has been thoughtful and I leave satisfied with the work I have engaged with, which might sound like damning it with faint praise but putting together which leaves the viewer (me) with a sense of completion, of being satisfied is hard to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment