. . . N E G O T I A T I N G . N E W . S O C I A L . R E A L M S . . .
A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
My art practice takes shape through live performance, moving-image, poetry and photography. My practice is site and context responsive. Sites of interest have been the traditional gallery space and other non-conventional spaces such as a fish factory, a discothèque, an allotment and a library. I aim to voice and discuss contemporary dilemmas and themes such as shifting modes of communication and ways of living. My experience of living on a boat and travelling far afield triggers my most recent work. My work is often developed through consultation with my family and the general public. The objective of my process-led practice is to engage, inspire and stimulate diverse audiences to consider new ways of being and coming together. ?xml:namespace>
C O N T A C T
Based in London and Cornwall, UK
Dance into the Void
1-channel screen projection, dual screen CCTV footage transferred onto DVD, colour, no audio, loop, 2:54, 50cmx1.5m (size vairies)
During multiple live performances, I danced on empty dance floors. One performance was recorded by CCTV, from two angles. The footage was reclaimed and now exists as the official documentation of the performance. When using CCTV it is hard to work against the assumption that the subject is suspicious. Sometimes we must stand and make actions despite our fears of who is judging us whether they be the public or the powers that be. This action sheds lights upon the liberation performance offers. This is due to its head-on confrontation with personal trepidations and its explicit wish for social engagement. The footage shows the beginning of an activity, acting like a sketch. The title refers to a void. In this case, the void can either be the dance floor or the camera frame. It also references the photo-montage ‘Leap into the Void’ by Yves Klein, which was a revision of the partial truth traced within images.
In this particular club, the official CCTV system was televised in the street and the bar, without my knowledge. Multiple levels of voyeurism are thus compressed into this artefact. Post-performance I was told that people had experienced my performance through live-feed. It seemed strnge that they had witnessed a performance where many elements had been lost. For instance, the soundtrack had been deadened and the vibrancy subdued. Also the motion sensitive camera, had caused a flitting between the still moment and the possibility of an action to exist. These partial losses cause me to question the impossibility of the total archive. When exhibiting the work subsequentially, viewers face the question of “What has been and what is happening?”. The work begins to occupy time, not just space.
My documentation of live events through digital means, explores the contemporary dilemma of mechanical and human entanglement. Archiving describes the methodical storage of information. The remembrance of our lives has become heavily dependent upon expansive archives. The reclamation of this fossilised footage salvages it from a hushed existence in storage, and instead sheds some light on the way CCTV traces the personal. I have since been drawn to the personalisation of similar abstract phenomenon, which is relevant to contemporary living. My practice now considers official history as a heavily controlled story. Therefore the process of archiving and its outcomes should be reinterpretation and be completely open to artistic comment. For instance, the knock-on effect of the performance causes other to dance but this is unseen. Instead, the viewer must imagine the future history of this work, triggered by their own memories of similar situations.