Performance title: Going on a bit.
Performance Description: Durational performance.
Estimated length: 50 minutes
Venue: Flax Art Project Studio Space Belfast
For: Seeing you Seeing Me: Re-Vision Performing Arts Festival 2021
I want to put on my nice clothes. I want an occasion. And in my nice clothes I will talk, and talk, and talk until the words become meaningless. I And at this occasion I will keep talking. I will talk about myself, my deepest insecurities, shit that’s annoying me, how I feel about the world, my favourite colour, why middle ages lady hairstyles fascinate me, I will talk to the audience, I will talk to the other performers, I will keep this up and I will go on and on and on until it gets uncomfortable, a little unpleasant, and more than likely boring, and the whole point of communication is getting questionable and the meaning of the idea of language and how we use it has become lost.
Sometimes performance art very clearly cordons off the audience to play their role as ‘the audience’ when they are required to simply watch. I want to make the audience question their role and what is expected of them by switching up the job of performer and audience.
I want to get into that space, that uncomfortable space, and bring the audience in too if they want, and allow ourselves to reconsider society’s expectations of how we should behave.
There’s always one person who won’t get off the phone, who will stand a little too close to you when they are talking at you, who goes on and on about their problems, sucking the life out of you. There always one person who is hilarious at the beginning and gives off a light that you want to feel the glow of by just being near them. I want to investigate what happens when that light stays on too long and overheats and starts to warp the lampshade, and the burning smell emanates out as it all goes too far, too hot, too bright, too much. That one person who won’t stop talking on zoom, when every particle of your being is screaming at them to shut it, but no they are still there going on about shit that seemed interesting for a millisecond when they first opened their mouths, but Christ, not any more. I want to make the audience think about what is ok and what is not ok. What behaviour is normal and what is not normal and why does society ask for ‘normal’.
The below was written November 2021 after the performance
I drove up to Belfast this am- I left at 10 and got there just after 3- the trip up was uneventful but I was late arriving because I spent the last hour driving around Belfast city centre negotiating the traffic trying to access the car park.. this seems to be a recurring issue for me with these trips..
When I arrived, just a tad stressed, Day was finishing cleaning up his performance and I just had time to go get a coffee and get ready. In a way I would have liked more time but really I would have just been hanging around getting cold so probably just as well I arrived last minute.
I’d practiced of course, twice, and felt ok-ish about it, and had asked Jen to signal to me when it was 30 mins in and then again at 45 mins. Performance things didnt go quite the way Id planned, but I that is always the case Ive found, to date anyway. Id practiced the multi tasking aspect of things in particular as I was a little concerned as to my ability to talk non stop and go about miming my tasks as well. I was worried I would forget my stream of talk while trying to remember to make the task movements. I did manage to keep up the stream of talking but it was less abstract than I had planned, I ended up being more personal about my life and less abstract in the verbal stream than I had planned and I feel a little exposed as a result.. i did succeed in talking non stop more or less, for an hour, and my only hope is that the stuff I talked about was not fully taken in by any of the audience in attendance, There were about 20 people there which was just right for the space. I ended up talking ‘to’ the people there a lot of the time as opposed to to myself. There was laughter at times which I had not anticipated but I didn’t have the time or more the capacity to change my plan of action in order in increase/decrease chances of more laughter. I didn’t mind the laughter as such I simply had not anticipated it. I think the intimacy of the space and the people there were what made me talk ‘to’ them as opposed to them witnessing me talking. I did move around but again not quite how Id planned- Id planned to go through the actions of my day and then whittle out some and bring it down to maybe 3 movements which I was going to more or less repeat.. but I ended up haphazardly repeating them erratically. again the live aspect and the relatively unrehearsed nature of things was what resulted in this.
I wore a black dress which id bought in London in the charity shop in kensall rise when visiting Annie and fam- its a beautifully made dress and actually fits me- i knew I wouldn’t have to think about how I looked while wearing this dress.
I got to see the last performance by SineadOnArt which was a very powerful audio piece. Then I had the unexpected pleasure of Day Magee coming home in the car as turns out he lives near my folks- so I gave him a lift home. Nice to have someone to talk art to on the drive home. Jen and Chloe clearly put a lot of work into revision and are nice people- another reason as well as the sheer opportunity to make the work and to meet other like-minded people- as well as how much I always derive from these performances- why a 5 hour drive up for a one hour performance, followed by a 4 hour drive back, was worth it.