Sunday, 21 December 2008

Elective -self assessment

The elective program has informed my personal practice to a great extent.
Performance and live art is something that I have been interest in for some time. During the first term my practice seemed to naturally progress to work that could be described as performance. However I wasn’t sure were these games and activates I was inventing fitted in, and weather they had much value. Through my own research I started to become more informed about this unfamiliar art form, but the performance/live art elective has given me a much better understanding and a broader sense of what performance and live art practice can be.

What first lead me to undertake these initial activities, which could be described as performance, was a sense of restlessness and wanting to work in an active environment. I wanted to react to the everyday around me. The studio had always been a setting that I was not overly comfortable in; here my mind would go blank. It was a frustrating space to be in, sitting opposite blank walls.
The first brief set ‘being animal’, provided me with a system to make a piece of work I had wanted to do for a while. I would climb the studio space the way an animal might, rejecting the ’normal’ and the expected behaviour for this particular space. I would explore the unknown places, on top of cupboard and under tables.
This original brief is what has informed my personal practice for the majority of this term, I have found a theme that has become the base for an in-depth investigation.

As part of this course I have also been made aware of issues in my work that can be improved or more considered, one of these being how a piece of live art or performance is documented. Previous to this I had not seriously considered the way I document my works and the affect it has on the understanding of the work. Through discussions and visits during the elective I’ve realised the way in which work is documented is very significant, as this documentation becomes the only trace that is left of that moment. This record is all you are left with as an artist, the only indications of the event.
Another is conviction in work; I feel conviction should be more evident in my performances. This art form is all still relatively new to me and I have not fully overcome the shame issue that was discussed in the primary lesson. The role of catalysis rather than performer is I would have placed myself before this elective. My work has developed as a result of being pushed in to situations that I’m not completely secure in, and consequential I’m now more willing to try alternative kinds of performance.
Throughout I have been requested to question what I’m producing and reflect on my work as a whole. Taking into account how my work applies in a broader spectrum. This has aloud me to become more focused on what I want each performance or piece to portray. Thinking more carefully about how it will be received by the audience.
A piece of work can be made form the smallest thing, an object that would normally be unnoticed. Claes Oldenburgs essay ‘I am for an art…’ has inspired me to look at the finer details and the unexpected beauty of our surroundings, ‘ I am for the majestic art of dog-turds, rising like cathedrals.’ in performance we react to our surrounding, and you are completely immersed in what is happening in that moment.

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