Monday, 27 October 2008

This is for the animals

deep play/dark play

I have to take a risk
I have to do something that scares me ( and that could be embarrassing and make me stand out)
The consequences could be good or bad.

I want to take a RISK. Push myself further, do something that I no maybe I shouldn’t be doing (and that’s the whole fun) ……danger?
To do something half hearted is worse then doing nothing at all.
But its easier to stay at home and do little drawings (of buildings and memories) and drink tea.
Its effort to go out and do something in the REAL world
Something that brings on shame
Embrace the shame and then you will be powerful (!?)

I need to protest.
But who for, or against?

Artist/people I have looked at for ideas are Daniel Lehan, Mark Thomas and of course Mark Wallinger.

Mark Thomas a comedian and campaigner, among other things , is protesting against not being able to protest. So against the Serious Organised Crime and Police act 2005, which prevents any demonstrations around and in Parliament Square. With out prior notice to the police. the last event that was organized attracted over 100 ‘lone protesters’. In 2006 he was added to the Guinness Book of Records for most demonstrations held on one day, 20 individual protests in 20 different locations.
Everyone wants something to change even if as little as FREE TEA for students???????
The Serious Organised Crime and Police act could (probably was) have been brought on as a result of Brian Haws peace protest outside parliament.
Mark Thomas (2004):
" ...Now they wish to evict Brian from his place of protest. Maybe because he is an embarrassment to such a war mongering government. Whatever their reason it is wrong. A democracy that can not stand one man and some placards outside its front doors doesn't seem to have much faith in itself. That is why I support Brian for Parliament."(From Brian website)

Artist mark Wallinger recreated this protest for a Tate Britain show. See at

Daniel Lehans work which is witty and straight to the point. Nice I think you will agree!

Alfred Jarry……………

was a very eccentric man,
He liked to drink, take drugs, and write plays, essays, poetry and speculative journalism.

He had a gift for pranks and was a trouble marker at school.
He was left a small inheritance when he parents died which he quickly spent,
Around this time he also discovered the pleasure of alcohol- he called it his
‘my sacred herb’
And his favoured of all was the ‘green goddess’…..absinthe.
To express his love to the goddess he once painted his face green and rode around the town on his bike.
He had to join the army in 1894.
He did not respond to discipline very well.
He was a tiny man and the smallest army uniform was still to big- it ended with him being made exempt from marching drills…….. He was too much of a distraction in his huge uniform.
He was excused in the end for medical reason.
Jarry and others (Leon Deschamps, Remy de Gourmont) were the ones that introduced Marinett to the principles of ‘free verse’ while they were involved in the literary magazine La Plume.
He is best know for his play Ubu Roi, which is often cited as the forunner to the theatre of the absurd . Ubu Roi was a slapstick production modelled on an earlier play he had created as a 15-year-old schoolboy. It poked fun at his well meaning /obese /incompetent physics teacher.
He was sometimes grotesque and misunderstood.
The opening line to Ubu Roi , which was shown in 1896 at Lugne-poe’s theatre de L’oeuvre, was ‘medre’…………
Which translates to shitter/ shikt/ shitsky
Pandemonium broke out,
The response was mixed. Some hailed him a hero others reacted violently.
The theatre de L’oeuvre became famous after only two performances of Ubu Roi.
And so did 23-year-old Jarry.
As a result he became immersed in his own fiction.
Adopting ridiculous and pedantic figures of speech.
Referring to himself in the third person.
He called the wind ‘that which blows’. He called his bike which he rode everywhere ‘that which rolls’.
Moving in to a flat that was once one flat but had been horizontally divided into two.
He could stand……………….Guests had to bend over or crouch.
He took to carrying a loaded pistol.
And lived in worsening poverty, neglecting his heath, he drunk excessively.
Alfred Jarrys Ubu Roi still retained a special place in the history of performance scandal.
He was a sort of hero to the Parisian Dadaists.
Many young artist in Paris sort him out….including max jacob.
He died in Paris in Nov 1907, from tuberculosis.
Later Picasso acquired his pistol.
It was recorded that his last request was for a Toothpick.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Monday, 20 October 2008

Intervention in Tate

We tried out some performances in the Tate, but the employees were aware of us before we had even entered the building as the result of a performance piece on the steps.
Here are some pictures of me trying to understand paintings better by copying how other people view it.

and another of just copying he pose in the painting?????


Today as an elective we scared the Tate employees and went to see Martin Creeds Work No. 850 .
This is what Tate says about his work:
Work No. 850 centres on a simple idea: that a person will run as fast as they can every thirty seconds through the gallery. Each run is followed by an equivalent pause, like a musical rest, during which the grand Neoclassical gallery is empty.

This work celebrates physicality and the human spirit. Creed has instructed the runners to sprint as if their lives depended on it. Bringing together people from different backgrounds from all over London, Work No. 850 presents the beauty of human movement in its purest form, a recurring yet infinitely variable line drawn between two points.

This piece changed the gallery atmosphere dramatically. One of the aspects I found most interesting was the time after the runner, were people who had only just entered the space caught a glimpse of this running figure disappear round a corner. The buzz of silence afterwards. You could still feel the presents of the runner after they had gone. Everyone in the space was a part of the work and could dictate were they ran .The runners frequently had to change their path when someone got in the way.
It was also good to view the work from different places. From between pillars so you only catch a second of the power passing you by.
The sound to thudding feet hitting the floor echoed around the room so your aware of their existence even if you can see them.

In the discussions we had afterward someone commented on how it compared to other works by Creed. All his works are very precise and contemporary. This one is messier around the edges; more is left up to chance. I like the way He can’t have complete control over each runner. Even though they have been given the same instruction there are many factors that can differ depending on the person running.
Some are faster; some have to go a longer way around to avoid people. All these nameless people make the work what it is.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

BEING animal/thinking ANIMAL

Video from first class with Mark:

I’m Thinking about 'being animal' project, but not getting very far. I might just try and film some bits and see what happens, i should stop over thinking everything and just do it because its fun. Actually I was in our studio today, and usually when I’m in there my mind goes BLANK. Think its something about all the white walls and the pressure from other students around me(I feel like there watching ME )anyway I looked at the space and saw it not as a place to sit but a place to climb, explore and change. Boards have been left up from the final degree show and there’s a space in between the wall and the boards. A non-space were only dust goes. Just the sort of place my cat would explore… ..... And as for Alfred jerry all I know is that he loved to drink and put on crazy plays.

ALSO I want to work out these small interventions I can construct at the Tate on Monday. Found this video ages ago of some sweet performances at Tate Modern, this is just the kind of thing that makes me wish I thought of it first( link )

Monday, 13 October 2008

second year shame

Today was good…….
I think I understand marks work better now, we watched a show reel of his work, some of which I had seem before. It’s amazing how much media coverage he gets and how quickly newspapers pick up a story and run with it. I couldn’t help but notice during the news reports the anchors doing there best to look very disapproving (especially the women, one even shock her head is distaste!)
But I wish I didn’t get so nervous when is came to the video recordings. It was fine then the person next to say 'your next’. And the space felt so big and empty I was all on my own but people were watching. I really annoy myself sometimes.
I’m looking forward to doing the ‘performance’ art history, I could just make up the history of Alfred Jarry and everyone would take this to be the truth (except I wont of course.)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Lay your table the Lawley way

Sophie Calle : if I could be another person I would be Sophie.
A French writer, photographer, artist...
She makes rules the dictate her day and plays games with life. Some of her Ideas have fed directly in to my work, for instant the following (not forgetting vito Acconci), although I guess ive moved on a bit from this now.
Performance has been in the forefront of my mind for a while, but I hadn’t found one word to describe these things I was reading about (being carried around the city by its occupants, eating only a certain colour of food for a day, dragging a stick along railings…) and these things I wanted to do but not as ART just games ( follow people and guess who they were, be a different person for a day, start walking not knowing were I was going but recording the noise around me) .until a year or so ago my only real though about ‘performance art’ were it involved rolling around naked covered in paint (hmp) .

My knowledge on this subject broadened after writing a research essay on Performance art that explore the use of audience participation, something I want to explore further (I will include the essay in this blog).

The electives I hoping will open my eyes to performance in a much broader sense. These are some of the things I like to do in my work and what I thought about in our first elective discussion.

• Use my surroundings (the city, public places) as a studio space. I like to have time to do drawings etc in a room with a desk but most of the time I find this place stagnant and I feel like time has stopped. I want to go out in to the real world, see people move around, objects working together, sounds competing.

• Letting go, becoming someone else or adopting another person’s movements. I think this is why following was challenging at first because it so hard to completely stop thinking about was you want to go and let a stranger lead. You have no ideas were they are going but its exciting and refreshing. You don’t have to think about yourself just about not losing them and keeping them in sight. Walking with out a destination, and being carried along by the crowd just enjoying the sites around you.

• Performance is exciting because it’s happening in the moment, is unpredictable. Everything that’s happening in the space/place at that time can contribute to the piece (for better or worse)

• The relationship between Audiences and performer is a thing of much concern for me. Works that have audience interaction interest me ( essay explains this fully)

• Doing performances in public places. I really like the ideas of this little girl going round Ikea and trying out all the beds. For her to do this was perfectly natural, this is of course what beds are for. Small intervention in to normal everyday life can be really effective, they make you look inwards.

I feel like there’s a lot to think about and I want to research more artist including Diana cooper and the Situationist, and also get ‘Perform’ by Jens Hoffmann and Jona Jonas out the library. It was really interesting to here other peoples thoughts on performance. I haven’t really ever spoken to many people about it . And my performances are more like games then anything, maybe I have to become a bit more serious and start asking myself why im doing these things?