That Part of me that Lives on Vague Nostalgia (Proof of Action)

Place: Newcastle Street, Carlisle, England

Material: Black boots, two grayscale photographs

2019

Striving to expand the parameters of an allusive act, I set about encapsulating the experiences surrounding an act of physical and psychological endurance (that part of me that lives on vague nostalgia). This would include; the journey to the site, scoping out the space and the post-performance walk home. Attaching the photographic documentation to the bottom of my boots (the ground of the space as it was during the original act), I would retrace my steps by returning to the site in which I engaged in the nostalgia work. The aftermath of which would question that which is considered ‘art’ within a project’s timeline.

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That Part of me that Lives on Vague Nostalgia (The Theatricality of the Protagonist)

Place: The Vallum Gallery, Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form, A3 paper w/ description of original performance, grayscale photograph, blue tarpaulin, steel toe capped boots, latex gloves, shovel, hazard tape, heavy duty trousers, jumper, wool hat, wrench

2019

Presenting my physical form amongst the symbolic assemblage of a previous performance (that part of me that lives on vague nostalgia), I employ gesture as a type of documentation. My ‘return’ as the works protagonist flirted with a semblance of aesthetic authenticity. However, I could be seen playing up my trauma, embodying a picturesque image of physical distress – a state merely implied by the description of the nostalgia performance. Loaning this suggestive physicality, I present my ‘staged’ production of emotional turmoil, becoming a poseur. 

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Max Wilkins

That Part of me that Lives on Vague Nostalgia (Residual Assemblage)

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England

Material: Grayscale photograph, blue tarpaulin, steel toe capped boots, latex gloves, shovel, hazard tape, heavy duty trousers, jumper, wool hat, wrench

2018

This performance was, in fact, a burial. It marked an attempted relationship and immersive encounter with place. The exercise itself took place on a demolition site, amongst the remains of an old school building. Functioning as my studio and place of study three years prior, I would dig into the ground of the space, proceeding to bury myself in the plot of land where I previously worked. I would remain that way for the length of an average day in the studio.

While there exists no direct documentation of this event ever having taken place you are invited to consider its possibility.

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Something Blocks the Doorway (Referential Discussion)

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England

Duration: 1 hour

Material: Human form dressed in black, UV light, white gallery wall

2018

In the week following Something Blocks the Doorway, a referential discussion was conducted in the same space. This manifested itself as the second half of the exercise, functioning as a means of highlighting and speculating upon the residual components present. With the precise application of ultraviolet light, said components would be exposed and questioned. The consequences of inaccessibility, seeded during the prior performance, would become clear.

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Something Blocks the Doorway

Place: The Pharmacy, Scotland Road, Carlisle, England

Duration: 3 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in blue shirt and black trousers, noise cancelling headphones, blindfold, white gallery wall, spotlight

2018

This performance operated through a simplistic economy of gesture and material. It was fuelled by a motivation to highlight the problematic notion of inaccessibility. The venue, an exhibition space which previously functioned as a pharmacy, enabled me to become an allusive component within the space. I developed an antagonistic, physical altercation with a white exhibition wall. This would deny access to what used to be a doorway and would involve me repeatedly colliding with said wall as if said doorway was still operational. A once achievable gesture becomes entirely fruitless. Such would call attention to the historic function of the space and, by extension, the inconsistencies presented by its current state. 

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Max Wilkins

Allow me to Explain

Place: The Market Hall, Scotch Street, Carlisle, England

Duration: 4 hours continuous

Material: Human form dressed in black, rubber gloves, wooden board, soil, paper, chair, television on white plinth

2018

This performance referenced an unseen performance by physically restructuring its key, fundamental components. In an effort to maintain futility within my practice, the activity was designed to present, but never directly inform one of an occurrence. The space was segmented into three distinct parts, playing host to a mechanism, one intent on delivering suggestive information. This would see me physically engage with a material of some relevance, sabotage my own attempt at dispensing a vocal account of events and produce hand-drawn representational documents.

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Jack Aylward Williams

Vocal Sabotage

2018

Introducing physical obstruction into my declaration of activity, I display a very conscious and purposeful attempt at vocal distortion. As not to compromise the futility of the action proceeding this exercise, I suppresses the idea of individual expression, effectively removing my ability to communicate through a disruption of verbal delivery. I would re-purpose the components used in the performance being referred to; gloves, boots, my shirt, etc. Doing this, I presented everyday experiences and activities as legitimate performance material. Inviting the viewer to consider the role of contextual clarity when composing a record, as well as to question the authenticity of said record. One is placed in a scenario which promises a state of perplexing intimacy. The focus is this time directly on the artists face and the viewer is subjected to a momentary sharing of the unease exhibited by the subject on screen.