This article is featured in Issue 02 of Taibh.
written by Tara Carroll
‘Read the text multiple times. Become comfortable with it. Why did you choose this text? What does it mean to you? Think of the memory attached to it. Take a word, a sentence, a paragraph or the whole text. Embody it. Focus it in to a single gesture. Repeat it. Exaggerate it. Slow it down. Move the gesture through out the space.’
Above is a sample of what we asked of the students of the Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire last month during a 4D Space performance workshop. The students came from different disciplines, such as psychology and model making, each bringing something original to the table. Some students had never come across performance art let alone performed it. Their curiosity transformed into appreciation and an openness to explore a new medium. Trust and unity continued to develop throughout the day as our exercises focused on translating their memories into pieces of performance and presenting them to the other students.
One student used a megaphone to confess the intimate yet comedic writings of their junior infant diary to the whole courtyard. Another student led us on a journey around the college while they tried to keep us quiet, they said ‘shhh’ to any door squeaking, any passer-by that mumbled and to loud footsteps creating the feeling we were naive children. One stood in front of a mirror in a crowded toilet inviting us into their world as they transformed their distinct appearance to a more accepting societal norm.
Performance art can be a very taunting and confronting medium to approach. It is a medium one rarely falls upon as school programs often concentrate on traditional art forms. The transitioning period into Art College should allow performance art to be more accessible. Each year performance art is less and less likely to be seen at grad shows, as facilities and classes are not provided. Áine and myself had the privilege to attend performance workshops during our time in college. They drastically changed my approach to art making as an exceptional teacher brought me out of my comfort zone. My practice may have swayed towards performance art eventually but I believe the challenges I faced in workshops, the boundaries I surpassed and the ongoing support from an encouraging teacher made me discover my craft.
This is why one of our collective’s main aims is to provide workshops. We want to encourage students to explore the raw and provocative medium that is performance art. Create a platform for them to express their curiosity. One day of performance workshops led many students to gain a new appreciation for the medium. The workshop even gave two students the confidence to submit their work to our zine launch night open call. We are honoured to be showcasing the debut performances of artists Darragh Matthews and Adele Marikar, two blossoming students who attended our workshop at IADT. I hope the night will help them develop a thirst and eagerness to continue in the pursuit of a new craft.
This article is featured in Issue 02 of Taibh.
written by Áine O’Hara
On Friday November 25th I ended up at Random Screams What you need to know, by chance.
I knew little of the company or the show before entering the theatre. We are presented with a bare stage. Four people enter, three of them are carrying guns. They leave them on a table stage right. The charismatic Davis Freeman introduces himself along with three dancers. He immediately addresses our fears, telling us the the world right now is kinda terrifying. We are thinking of Paris, of the shootings in Paris and he tells us that one of these guns, an AK47 is what was used in the recent terrorist attack in Paris. They reference numerous terrorist attacks. They speak honestly about their fears and tell us that they are going to show us how to use these guns.
“What we teach you right now, could save your life.”
Davis falls into the role of teacher as the dancers respond to his presentation.
“This gun is an exact replica of the gun used in the Columbine shooting.”
He tells us about a a brave student in Columbine who picked up a discarded gun and tried to shoot it at one of the attackers but because the safety was on, nothing happened and the student was shot.
He shows us how to take the safety off.
Davis then shows us a pistol and invites audience members down to try to shoot one of the dancers with the pistol (with a theatre blank). The dancers are shot one by one and each die a dramatic death.
What you need to know is an honest, compelling .and unfortunately necessary show in todays world.
For more information on what to do if you find yourself in a situation like the ones described in the show can be found here:
What you need to know and 7 promises were presented as part of One Time Season, a celebration of contemporary theatre featuring works by Pan Pan and the greatest hits of American/Belgian group Random Scream.
One Time Season was presented as part of Project 50, a season of work celebrating 50 years of Project Arts Centre.
Davis Freeman created the company Random Scream in 1999 to expose the eclectic elements of everyday culture with proposed lines of flight for dance, theatre, and visual arts. Originally created with the artist Lilia Mestre, Random Scream is now run by Freeman and his ever evolving mix of collaborators. The projects aim to draw attention to what is already there by focusing on our personal interactions and how our choices directly affect each other and the community we live in. Freeman is an American performing artist based in Brussels and has worked with Forced Entertainment, Meg Stuart and Superamas.
I loved What you need to know so much that I got a ticket to their second show of the night 7 Promises. The performance features two ecological preachers calling their audience to turn their words into action. They propose 7 promises for us to take in order to create a more sustainable world. With each promise you receive a free shot of vodka (absolut – no off brand stuff). We sign a pledge and make a promise. Though we are free to lie, no one is going to make sure that we follow through. Again, Davis approaches his work in a unique way. 7 Promises is a clever use of the medium. It is at once both humorous and hard hitting.
The promises range from ‘I will remain silent for an entire day of my choosing next week’ to ‘I promise to have no (more) children for the rest of my life’.
I made 5 promises and took 5 shots of vodka.
I only kept one of the promises.