Posts Tagged 'performance'

Walking the Berlin Wall

I am currently accompanying Kinga Araya as she walks along the former Berlin Wall. More information and documentation will be posted soon. In the meantime please visit the project website, Performing Exile

Line of sight – Liverpool 03.08 – Feedback

Hi Kaspar,

Yesterday you asked me to take part in your Line of Sight project in Liverpool so as promised here’s some feedback on my part.

At first I felt a bit daft, especially seeing as we were standing at the entrance to a small car park and a worker came over and asked us if we needed any help, but when we’d sorted all that out, it got a bit easier. I was standing on the corner of Seel and Concert Streets, looking towards Fleet Street and my ‘mirror’ was staring back at me.

After the first minute or so when I’d gotten over my initial awkwardness I did get a bit transfixed on the person staring back at me. The city got a lot quieter and the cars driving close by down the street and those avoiding me coming out of the car park didn’t bother me, (which was a nice feeling because usually I’m very ‘road conscious’!) and there was a feeling of safety in knowing that someone was staring back at me.

Thinking about the big idea of the project also made me feel safer, knowing there were a whole string of strangers winding there way through the back streets connected by a simple line of sight, I wished the buildings would disappear so you could see each other, but I suppose that defeats the point of the project and it would only confirm what I already knew anyway.

Most people walking by seemed to look at me at some point, but no-one seemed to be much bothered. The balloons were a good idea as they helped to focus my focus, but my partner couldn’t see his ‘mirror’ so I think maybe the experience was lost on him a tad. There was a truck parked on the road where my partner was looking so there may have been someone trying to look back at him but he couldn’t see them!

Overall it was a calming experience, which made me feel quite ‘powerful’ and ‘in control’ I suppose it was the network of other people connected to me. It was enjoyable, a little different and made me smile to be part of a little bit of art in the city.

Thanks for asking me,
Laura

Line of Sight – Liverpool 03.08 – Evaluation

Artist: Kaspar Wimberley
Supporting Artists: Rebecca Knight, Laura Lomax, Miriam Davies, Libby Bower

Line of sight was enacted three times in Liverpool with a total of 60 participants, while hundreds of people were approached on the streets and in the gallery space. Over the course of four days we encountered varying degrees of success, failure and successful failure.

The impact of such a project is impossible to measure. Not only is it impossible to know if everybody turned up and how they had each experienced the event, it is also impossible to know what effect you may have had on those who didn’t turn up. The feedback we received was mixed. Some participants found a focus, togetherness and the time to stop and catch breath, while others felt lonely after the event had come to an end. It was nice to receive an email from somebody who took part with a beautiful account of how they had experienced the event.

There were also highlights when things didn’t quite work out as intended. The moment two people had to look at one another through a police horse’s testicles, or when the two German ‘Walzer’ (a tradition involving travelling craftsmen from Germany ) went on to stay with us overnight.

From a purely subjective point of view, here are some of the things I liked about Line of Sight’s first outing:

I liked the mix of people who took part in each enactment, or were engaged on the streets as we searched for willing participants. I learnt to like the failure, when people didn’t turn up to take part, resulting in a broken circle and pockets of knowledge that the line of sight had not travelled continuously through the city. Maybe our absentees will find the crumpled instructions in their back pocket next day and spare a fresh thought on what might have taken place, why a stranger had asked them to take part and why they had agreed.

What I liked most about the project was probably the stillness, as the rushing crowds or rushing thoughts slowly blended out of focus. Each enactment seemed to share an unusual mix of briefness and suspense, with muddled endings that didn’t quite know when to end (sometimes people held their gaze for longer than 5 minutes, not knowing how to negotiate an end and break the unspoken contact with one another).

The red helium balloons we gave to participants on the second day certainly helped everybody find one another, and possibly served as a constant reminder of what was to take place. This was the only day in which a complete line of sight may have been achieved. I don’t know what effect the balloons had on the passing crowds, though it seemed as though they hardly noticed, the event still taking place very much in the background.

It remains important that this project continues to take place between strangers, and that people converge into their allocated positions, rather than migrate from a shared ‘meeting point’. The attempted ‘Line of Sight’ created at the opening event of paradise stories was a good example of an inappropriate setting that would never function as intended.

Documentation

I didn’t want to photograph the event as it took place, this would intrude on what was taking place and turn it into a spectator event. These photos can be easily staged at a later date. Each participant received a postcard and my contact details to send me feedback but the question about how to document and present the event at the gallery remained open to debate. Laurel Kurtz suggested photographing each participant when they agree to take part, a small gallery of those who would be briefly linked with one another. I will try this the next time the project takes place, but photograph only a small part of their body to maintain a degree of anonymity.

The gallery presence (Planning HQ / Studio / Documentation) consisted of a large map of Liverpool with each ‘Line of Sight’ marked out onto the surface. Faye floated the idea that, within the gallery, it might be sufficient that people simply believe that the event is taking place. You could create fictional routes and fictional forms of documentation to exaggerate the myth.

Maps and ‘paths’ of sight used in Liverpool will be posted online soon.

I would still like and develop the project to take place from within private spaces, balcony to balcony or window to window. To me this still adds an extra dimension that cuts through existing boundaries and notions of community and privacy, to stretch our focus to a point usually outside the perimeters of our living-environment or personal space. I also questioned at times if there were too many rules involved, though I can imagine in other cultures this might not be an issue. I look forward to conducting the experiment in Germany in the near future.

Thanks to everybody who did or didn’t take part,
Kaspar

Paradise Stories – Liverpool 03.08

Kaspar Wimberley has been invited to present the interactive intervention Line of sight in Liverpool, as part of the exhibition ‘Paradise Stories’, curated by Kai-Oi Jay Yung.

o4.03.08 – 28.03.08
Free admission, 9-5 weekdays, 11-5pm sat/sun

Dual Private View: Tuesday 4th March 2008 at RENEW Rooms and The International Gallery: 18:00-20:00 at the Renew Rooms / 20:00-22:00 at the International Gallery.

Supporting Artists: Rebecca Knight, Laura Lomax, Miriam Davies, Libby Bower

Documentation resulting from the intervention will be posted online towards the end of March

Weblinks
Art Rabbit listings
www.myspace.com/paradisestories
Online invitation
Information about the artists involved

Welcome

Rote Teppich

Welcome to treacleonline

TreacleOnline was a temporary source of information documenting the work of Treacle, while keeping everybody up to date with news of any upcoming events. Our new website can be found at http://www.treacletheatre.co.uk/portfolio/

Please let us know if you would like any additional information regarding any of our projects.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
Kaspar and Susanne




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