Along the Well is a participatory walking perforrmance that I created at the Woodford Academy Museum, the oldest surviving building in The Blue Mountains, Australia on March 21st 2015. In single file, we followed the natural water source, out the back to the line along the rock, around the unmarked graveyard, along the dried up creek, past the second spring, and back again in a circle. It was a day of ritual with 50 or so of us acknowledging together the presence of water on the site as its necessity to mankind for all time.
Curated by Sarah Breen Lovett, ‘Palimpsest Performances’ is a series that explores contemporary art performance, as a way of simultaneously drawing forth the past and layering present interpretations of the unique architecture and grounds of the Woodford Academy. Palimpsest Performance #2 by contemporary artists Ben Denham and Honi Ryan are two separate but intertwined performances, both explore the land and its resources as communication device. Through an examination of walking as art practice Honi Ryan communes with the site, exploring and revealing its traces and history as a navigation tool. While Ben Denham's performance uses water from the land to create sound instruments which are calibrated to the geometries of site. Ben Denham grew up in the Blue Mountains and studied visual arts at the University of Western Sydney. He works with performance video and make machines that engage different parts of the body in the process of drawing and writing. Honi Ryan is an interdisciplina...
Today I went on a workshop at Wavehill public garden and cultural centre in the Bronx, NY called Sounding Silence and the Winter Walk. It was led by one of my favourite pedagogs, Nicolás Dumit Estevez. Nicolas is a truly empathetic leader, and surrenders to the shared moments people create in the act of being. This walk was no exception. The experience mustered ideas for me of the idividual and the collective and ceated a space where creative ideas flowed through me as we crunched our way thorugh the freshly fallen snow, holding hands to help each other through, and stopping in a circle to share 4 oranges between the 12 of us. There were no phones, no photos, no talking and it created a unified and focused situation within which to contemplate the self. This workshop was an infuential part of my development process for a piece that I am to perform in a couple of months in Australia called Along The Well. You can see that performance on this blog in March.
Two people walk through the exhibition space of the 31a bienal of São Paulo. One is reading aloud from a book, turning the pages rapidly and speaking fragmented sections of the text interspersed with words, sentences and ideas that are read from the surrounding works. Walking side by side, the other person writes down things that stand out, creating yet another generation of meaning, as they consider the words arbitrary relationship to the space and it’s contents. This piece was devised as an invisible performance, as we were no longer permitted to perform in the exhibition we built this performance to go unnoticed by security staff.
Below is the text that was developed as a result of the performance.
participative performance - a telepathic encounter
31a Bienal De Arte De São Paulo, Brazil.
Pavilion foyer, 6-7:30pm October 11th, 2014.
Perpendicular Bienal performance #3
Two artists sit opposite each other, lock in eye contact and form an unspoken connection. Periodically, when a thought solidifies in their minds, they write it down and turn it upside down, stacking the notes to create an unknown sequence of thoughts. Every 15 minutes they lay the note cards out to reveal the sequence, a sometimes fragmented and often uncannily synchronised conversation.
Pens and small note cards are placed in the space offering others to engage in the same kind of encounter. Many pairs partook in the action, and revealed the connection we can have with strangers when we consciously choose to engage, even in silence. One participant noted that we look beyond the eyes to see the person, and in that we see ourselves.
I have just participated in the ‘Perpendicular Bienal’ – a curated performance intervention on the São Paulo 31st Biennale. It was a 4 day event in the Bienal foundation in Ibirapuera Park, and included about 30 artists. The theme was ‘I am present’. We worked together to create a peaceful provocative presence on the biennial pavilion. It had free entry so attracted a diverse audience. The pieces ranged from individual to collaborative, some artists responded to the situation and space and others mounted pieces they had done elsewhere in the situation of the exhibition. By the third day the security staff was fed up with us entering and exiting the exhibition, and some artists had made actions that were not looked upon well – so even though the biennial curator welcomed us to the exhibit in person and encouraged our work, ultimately the security couldn’t deal with it, and we eventually got banned from the main exhibition space. On the thir...