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Live Art Falmouth

8&9 June, 2007  Wellington Terrace, Falmouth


Situated in the Foundation Studies Building, Wellington Terrace, Live Art Falmouth was a collaboration between University College, Falmouth and Art Surgery.



Two interactive artworks incorporating and exploring the potential of new digital technologies were installed for both days of the event. Brendan Byrne's work (above left) comprised a live projection loop with a built-in digital delay which, to the delight of visitors, automatically changed depending on their position relative to the camera. The other by Art Department was a pair of phone booths containing instructions to ring a number. Doing so took the participant though to a multi-option answering service, that could be navigated by means of the number pads. Part serious, part parody; a disembodied female voice offered advice on the business of being an artist.




Matt Davies, sitting behind a computer terminal, distributed sound recordings made around Falmouth, and gave out instructions on revisiting the sites of the recordings, whilst nearby Hazel Hammond continued her ongoing project to knit herself into a cocoon. As part of this project, visitors were invited to write something they wanted to let go of onto a large bead made out of salt-dough, which was then also knitted into the emerging structure.



In the adjacent classroom was a masked performance in a red-lit space by undergraduate Oliver Irvine. More than an hour long and accompanied by a menacingly loud cut-up Wagnerian soundtrack, it was evocative both of early performance art and 70s horror movies. Exploring a similar territory of elemental myths and nightmares, Anna Clawson and Nicole Ward simultaneously enacted a slow, deliberate ritual in another room (above right). One gathered up soil in her cradled arms then flung it to the floor, where the other then appeared to shape it into piles and little islands.




Later on the Friday evening Badger Trap performed self-penned songs about animals and our mistreatment of them. Played on acoustic guitar, musically they seemed to relate to a tradition of impassioned political folk. The animal costumes that were used for the performance, however, introduced an element of theatrical pantomime that problematised conventional notions of the singer-songwriter.

Amanda Lorens has made several works using the tango, many of which are familiar to local audiences. In none of them, until now, has her own presence in the work been important. For her new work 'Audible Embrace', she danced listening to music via an earpiece, and with amplified microphones attached to the soles of her shoes such that the audience could only hear the scraping of her feet as they hovered gracefully over the parquet floor. The result was powerful and mesmeric, such that the physical act of the dance was hugely intensified.



The tightly packed schedule then continued on Saturday afternoon. In a beautifully sunlit, but otherwise empty, classroom Teresa Stevens in a hospital gown, gestured for visitors to sew messages into it. Mute, melancholy and almost motionless, she elicited a number of tender and caring responses.

Samia Saidi and Isabel Baillie in the main space next door created a remarkable butterfly-woman, with one tying remnants of plastic bags to the other, then to the adjacent wall, over a period of around an hour, before, equally laboriously, proceeding to do the same thing in reverse.




Delpha Hudson's performance, 'Life Sentences' was dispersed thoughout the different rooms of the building. Constructed around everyday sayings (eg 'its no use crying over spilt milk'), she painted a tea-pot black, taped cuddly toys to the wall and sang a song whilst bearing a large branch on her back. Broken up into these evocative fragments, her contribution seemed to be an ambiguous act of rebellion against domesticity.

Paul Carter and Alexandra Zierles performance, in terms of its choreography and iconography, was possibly the most complex. Emerging with torches in the darkness from a tent and dressed in white, they proceeded to engage in a number of symbolically charged activities. Paul laid turf on a puddle of milk on the floor, whilst Alexandra filled her t-shirt with feathers from a blood stained pillow. On two floor-level monitors were films of unfamiliar landscapes, such that the work as it subsequently unfolded over nearly two hours, seemed to become a sustained meditation on our alienated relationship with the natural environment.

With an event such as this, its not possible to see everything on offer, but it was probably the fact that performances were happening simultanously in different areas of the building that helped give it energy. A number of other artists, too numerous to mention individually (see list), also contributed performative works to the video room.

Live Art Falmouth was another event, which, like TRACT last year showed that - against the odds - live art continues to be one of the strengths of the local art scene. It continues, arguably, to also provide the most important focus for experimental art.


Other artists not mentioned in the text:

Dominic Thomas, Magenta Interior, Mr Wasabisan, VJ Theory, Kayleigh O'Keefe, Jacqui Orly, Ruth Harvey Reagan, Ann Haycock, Karen Koltrane, Veonique Maria, Charlie Napier, Steven Paige, Nelda Ramos, Tracey Richardson, Roberto de la Torre, Andy Whall, Rupert White








If anyone wants to send me additional documentation - especially of works not mentioned in the text - please do via the e-mail on the home page. If you want to respond to the show, give feedback to the participants, or upload additional documentation, feel free to use the forum to do this.


RW 10/6/07