Sunday, May 5, 2013

Performance #2: Reflection

On stage, in the amphitheater at Wingfield Park
Pressing clay onto my face and making an impression

Repeating the action...
Placing resulting impressions (self-portrait masks) on stage for observation
Re-wedging the clay into it's original mound...

Really satisfied with my second performance (much more than my first performance!). The set up and space (a wooden table in the amphitheater of Wingfield Park) functioned appropriately for my performance and served it well, for the performance was one that involved spectacle and audience observation. The repetitive action of taking mounds of clay from a larger mass of clay, making impressions of my face, placing the resulting mask-like impressions systematically on the stage, and then collecting and re-wedging the masks back into the original clay mass was meditative, ritualistic, and durational in nature....some aspects of the performance were similar to my typical studio practice, while others weren't. As an object-oriented artist (meaning that in my usual artistic practice, I make art that is tangible, physical, and not temporary), it was unusual and challenging for me to wedge the masks into a mound of clay after I had made them, resulting in a performance that yielded temporal, ephemeral objects…usually I would have preferred to keep one of these objects as an artifact of the performance!

A critique I have for myself would be to have a more effective sense of initiating and consequently ending the performance, rather than just simply starting and stopping at seemingly appropriate times. I also wish that I could have performed longer...I believe that as a durational performance, it would have benefited from being lengthier. This is a performance that has the potential to be revisited and re-done nonetheless! And although lining the masks up in regularly spaced rows did have a weirdly haunting effect, more movement and activation of the space would have resulted if I were to place the masks randomly about the stage facing every which way...Additionally, from watching the performances from others in the class, I am realizing that performance art does not have to be limited to an audience simply watching an artist engage in performance as a spectacle…performance art often involves audience participation and involvement. For my next projects I hope to employ these ideas  of audience participation, and move away from the idea of artist-as-spectacle.

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