As a finisher to the 6 Here and Now workshops I’d put on I reckoned the best way to do it would be with a performance event. Its now a week and a bit since it happened. I had some predetermined ideas about how my performance workshops would surely land me with a willing contingent of eager performance artists ready to drop whatever they were doing and join me in some radical group performative activity anytime I asked. Well the workshops did go well and they were a learning experience for me. They were far from perfect however and I would change a lot if I do them again. But it always comes back to the premise; me myself and I. If I want it then it must be made to happen, by me. Like Laurie Anderson said, if you don’t get invited to show your work, then make your own event. This I already know. It’s not easy. If it was I suppose it wouldn’t be what it is.
The event itself was great, in as much as it could be. My 6 artists were wonderful and to see them perform, nervous and trying so hard, made it all completely worth it. I felt complicit, proud, and emotional in some of the cases. They were truly wonderful. Each of them made such different work that it must have been an interesting experience for the audience. And the audience! friends and family- but clever, intelligent cultured friends and family, willing to witness and absorb what came along. I felt that the event and the surroundings (glor studio) were appropriate, right for this time around. Some of the artists wouldn’t have performed at all had it been a larger event with more people.
What I learned: I need more money to run these things. I have ended up doing all this work for free as I didn’t manage my budget well in terms of venue hire and other costs. I need to be clearer with each artist about exactly what they are going to do and what props/tech/extras they will be using. I need to stand my ground and hold out for what I want. I need to have more help when running such an event.
However: I reached a number of my goals. I wanted to run performance art workshops locally and I did. I applied for funding to run the events and I got it. I had people attend. I ran an event and I got positive feedback. I introduced a coterie of people to performance and what it can be. I need to give myself credit for this. Having experienced the bitterness of losing out on performance opportunities lately (that I would have absolutely loved to do) I need to remind myself that this body of work was worth while. There it utterly no point in dwelling on stuff like that, it is pointless.
And right now any/all of this stuff seems so trite, extra, unimportant, as I am essentially here, privileged in my comfortable safety, as is my family, with enough to eat and drink and warmth and everything I need. The horror continues in the middle east and as we continue about our business against this backdrop of dystopian horror on the news and on our phones everyday we must remind ourselves of our privilege. The fact that I even get to write a blog about this work, that I get the opportunity to make, shows my relative huge privilege on this planet. I am one of the lucky ones.
I am now going to allow myself some breathing space to think about this experience while I try and get the public art project finished.