Improvising Performance

November 19, 2015 § 2 Comments

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It was an incredible experience to find myself again in performance and to talk about the work in conversation with Dr Eva Bru Dominguez. Although performance for me is based on detailed research and as an object artist I must pack and predetermine the components of my piece, the moment of performance is improvised. Usually performance spaces are a distance away and can’t be prepared in beforehand and part of the work is to respond to the space. I must trust my instincts and the language I’m developing to work through my body. Elements I thought I would use were left to one side in the moment. The strength of my emotional reactions surprised me at the start of the piece when I taped my mouth – from that point on I was thinking on my feet about how to resolve the objects as assemblage where each element is a redolent signifier but must be brought together to a state of harmony.

I’m still processing the rich layers of association and newly accrued meaning this performance engendered. I begin to define my art in this form as live assemblage, imbued with ritual. An attempt to transmit the essence of my studio research to an audience, capture their attention and move them in some way.

My great thanks to Dr Eva Bru Dominguez and to Dr Gillian Jein for the invitation to present this work at Bangor University School of Modern Languages and Cultures Research Forum.

Improvising performance intentionally honours the improvisational skill and instinct of the Spanish Republican exiles of 1939, and all refugees in all times who have had to, and continue to have to make domestic spaces out of nothing in locations they cannot anticipate.

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