DJCAD Reflective Research Journal – Week Nine

I began making an anatomically explicit costume to experiment more with my performance idea, which I finished making on Monday morning, including a mask. I had already hired a camcorder and booked the seminar room in preparation for Monday afternoon. I then filmed myself in the costume, acting out imagined, exaggerated, slightly comic shadow behavior. I tried acting out both the feminine and the masculine personas, though I wore both sets of fabric genitals at once, for some of it. I was aware that this meant the performance could be interpreted differently form how I intended it to be, in that it might appear to be about gender issues. This was confirmed the next day in an all-day performance workshop with Anna Mclaughlan, where one of the participants read my costumes, in my videos, to be about gender, despite my explanation. I wanted my meaning to be clearer, so I had to rethink a little.

I found the discussion and activity in the workshop (we began with an exercise from Frantic Assembly) about performativity useful and I liked Anna’s energy and have booked her for my open tutorial next week to further discuss my performance with her since changing my ideas slightly. She talked about J.L. Austin’s performative verbs and the idea of giving orders and where words become performance which I found very interesting. The Fleeting Motions performance event is in six days and I need to finalise and practice how my performance is going to go this week as I am now on the line-up and have submitted a biography and the title of the project and a short description about it.

I have rankled with various ideas of mixing poetry, recorded or spoken live, or the inclusion of cards with text on them being held up, or text on a projected video and have sketched and written down possible text and ideas all week and weekend.

The artists talk this week was a group of people from New Zealand who talked about the loss of and revival of cultural history and indigenous studies and out critical and contextual studies lecture was about modernism and post modernism and the simulacrum. A staged or altered photograph by Sandy Skoglund was used as an example which I liked and have noted down as a possible compositional base for me to do a painted version of.

On Thursday night we had the opening night of the Rubatosis exhibition organised by Ellie Lawson, which looked great and had a good turnout. We then went on to the opening at Generator and saw some pretty interesting art and performances, notably Lady Unchained a female performance poet from London.

Other personal research this week included several videos about the performance artists in the Venice Biennial over the last few years and some interviews with Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece. Also, Laurie Anderson who I have been researching for a while and Vaile Export.

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