DJCAD Reflective Research Journal – Week Ten

So, I decided to do the full performance movement thing at ‘Fleeting Motions – Performance Showcase’ – and added the poem to the music with the video, to be projected. I made the video in a sort of negative, so the mask and my skin and the room were black and the clothes white, but the sewn on vagina, and my long tongue were still fushia pink, and I then wore the same outfit (black shorts and vest) for the performance, so I was in positive.

It was such a brilliant experience, I really went for it, for what feels like probably the first time ever in a performance, (though those constitute school pantomimes and singing, nothing where I use wholly my body) and (remembering what Anna McLauchlan said) felt present all through the performance and actually enjoyed it, though it was over in a flash. So glad I did it and am grateful for the push Anna gave me, because I think that is really what I wanted to do and it would have felt like a cop out, in this instance, to do anything less. I don’t know how I got from ‘There’s no way in a million years I could too this in front of anyone’ to doing it on a stage a few weeks later, except that I know it had everything to do with support, enthusiasm and encouragement from my studio mates. one of the things I had hoped I would get from Art School and maybe one of the most important parts and I am so lucky to have such a lovely support group and to have seen the email from the third year, Emma Doctor (who arranged the whole event), at the exact point that I was just beginning to think about performance (I am clearly still on a gushy high from performing!)

I Think I want to do more performance now and it suddenly feels possible. But is it all just an ego trip??? I hope not. I like the term Anna used – ‘disruptor’…I hope it’s more like that and about encouraging dialogue around uncomfortable subjects…but probably with a bit of exhibitionism thrown in, which I suppose all performance is to some extent. I feel like I have spent most of my life holding back that exhibitionist side of me, the side that wants to express itself physically. I have often felt gangly and awkward and ungraceful and been told that I am, but now feel I can maybe exploit these features as assets – as I think I did in this performance, emulating a cat, a spider and a crab, to demonstrate the raw, desperate, shameful, pitiful, betraying lust, which cannot be fulfilled and can only damage.

I talked about this performance, before hand, being for me, a sort of ceremony, ritual or exorcism, and it felt like it was, though the whole process, not just the final performance. It was more like it felt important to have witnesses to the whole thing. My mimicking and laying bare of the dark, desperate, hidden, sexual shadow behavior which I have enacted in reality, but also witnessed, judged and projected on to others.

I will put the Video of the performance on Vimeo as soon as I get a copy of it, I may also put the video with the music and spoken word piece (which I made for projecting), up first.

With two weeks to assessments, I am assembling, ordering and tying up loose ends. My CV is written, so is my personal statement. My performance was filmed, and I want to use that as my main resolved work. I just need to decide what else to display and how to do it.  I have a couple of video and sound pieces which need to be submitted early and I will probably print out some stills from them to put in my sketchbooks too. The main thing I need to do this coming week is arrange these video still pictures on A4 sheets to print.

The artists talk this week was by Maximage, with lots of interesting descriptions of print experimentation and colour information. And the film screening was my groups choice and was ‘Loving Vincent’ on Monday and since it was a close vote between it and ‘Dirty Dali’, we decided to show it as a second viewing on Wednesday. The former was visually very beautiful, being made entirely of animated paintings, but the latter was a more interesting film and very relevant to my work. Our Critical and Contextual Studies Lecture was on Representation and the Gaze and both the male and female gaze were discussed. I am interested in the idea of the female gaze and plan to look at this subject in more depth, but not this semester.

I have already written my essay and submitted it electronically without images this week and just have to remember to hand in my hard copy, with images, on the 6th.

I also took my landscape cards, which I have been making and selling for years, round some galleries in Dundee, The Queens Gallery was interested in the cards and paintings, but not till next year, but the Ron Lawson Gallery said they would take cards and paintings straight away and liked the connection to DJCAD, as they are so near. My landscape work is so different from the work I am doing at art school; they feel like totally different things. I am finding it hard to reconcile these two opposite ends of the art spectrum, on my website, for example, where I have just updated my artists statement to the one about my current degree work, but which now doesn’t reflect my landscape work at all. I have always kept these two aspects of my creative output quite separate and still don’t know whether I should be trying to integrate them or whether I should be keeping them completely separate. I will need to talk to a tutor about this sometime.


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