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
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.
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.
By engaging in this repetitive video narration, I would outline the paradoxical nature of the subject matter and my artistic methodologies. More specifically the concept of futility, an integral aspect of Sisyphean practices. Because of this, the work acts as a site responsive, institutional critique, simultaneously probing ideas of; audience participation, the reliability of recollection and the ontological considerations of live art. The overly emotional delivery of said accounts invites ambiguity, inviting one to consider the validity of what is being described.
Place: Building Site, Scotforth Road, Lancaster, England
Duration: 30 minutes
Material: Human form wearing blue jeans, wooden board, rope, rock/rubble
This performance saw me occupy an environment under construction, all at once evident of a previous function and in a process of becoming. Doing so, I would practice a ritualistic absurdity, one which adopted a consideration of time and space in relation to intense physical strain. The exercise marked the my attempts at incorporating a degree of audience involvement into my work. The participant would place fragments of rock upon my back while vocalising any discomfort or general thought processes while doing so.
Place: University of Cumbria, Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England
Duration: 9 hours continuous
Material: Human form dressed in heavy duty trousers, steel toe capped boots and t-shirt, rock, rope, wooden board, spotlight
Adopting a Sisyphean functionality, this repetitive action contributed towards an ongoing, representational investigation its subject matter. Employing raw, ready-made materials, the experience played into the notion of the archetypal labourer – using said occupation to explore futility and endurance.
Photo credit: Max Wilkins
Place: University of Cumbria: Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road, Carlisle, England
Duration: 9 hours continuous, everyday for a week
Material: Human form, A5 cards, glass window, polythene sheet, spotlight
Constructed as an interactive performance piece, Provider illustrated concerns of disconnection and dehumanisation. It attempted to reevaluate the function of the artist through a meditative approach to audience participation – enabling one to establish a great degree of control over their own experience.
Place: 27 Etterby Street, Carlisle, England
Duration: Between 15 – 30 minutes each time
Material: Naked human form, heavy duty polythene sheet
A series of video performances, Struggle demonstrates man’s internal fight against the barriers of society while teasing the hopeful possibility of transcendence.