“It’s nothing more than a situation”

by Sara Muthi

Performance art cannot escape it’s undoubtable dependence on space and spectators. The location, audience, cultural and political climate are just a few of the uncontrollable aspects that are intertwined in the reading and interpretation of every performance. It would be a difficult and labours effort to attempt to think about a performance as a self contained, automatous event absent of any influence prior to viewing. With this in mind, Livestock brings together a fresh, diverse group of the most forward thinking performance artists in Ireland, in an accessible yet thought provoking scenario. Livestock: Fresh Cuts kicked off what promised to be a thrilling Dublin Live Art Festival 2017.

A distorted, fallen creature is laying down, hopeless and un-helped in the centre of a large vacant space, as if lying in the middle of the street as crowds gather simulating actions of pedestrians being drawn to an accident. All are curious, but there is no help for this white fallen beast. The only saving grace seems to be a wandering lighthouse, upon the head of a man as he circles the space between spectators and the fallen antlered creature. This is the work of Celina Muldoon who announces the tone of the night with drama and intrigue.

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Celina Muldoon

The audience are not left to the creeping guilt of their curiosity as they stare at the seemingly wounded creature. In a series of intense moments the light draws itself onto the face of the creature and the face of the artist is revealed as it is helped up from its weakened condition. It faces the crowd in a majestic strut of victory with the light by her side. The Dublin Live Art Festival has officially begun.

An audience is seldom able to separate the lingering effect that one performance has from a sequence of works as Livestock curates. It would have to be a conscious effort on the part of the viewer to compartmentalise the experience of each performance from the previous. Livestock minimises this through intermissions between performances, a chance for the audience to chew on what they had experienced and anticipate what happens next. Nevertheless, this only minimises the carry-on effect on the part of the audience. While this is persistent in similarly structured events, this is not a negative effect and can add a multi-layered, thought provoking element to every performance. Even though I would usually refrain from calling performance art ‘enjoyable’ as it is not entertainment, but rather a branch of the visual academics we know as contemporary art, a light hearted spirt to performance will not be unwelcomed.

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Darren Yorke

Beginning with Muldoon’s intense performance, we are then brought into the work of Darren Yorke. As the spotlight shifts from the centre of the Complex to the right white wall of the space we hear a familiar melody ring through the space, beginning with Disney’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” and following with Snow White’s “Heigh Ho!”. A young singer with a guitar joins the audience in the space and steps into his spotlight. A warm, light-hearted development from the subtly eerie work of Muldoon. An other-worldly ambiance that filled the space initially shifts and the viewers are brought back to reality as Yorke develops his almost twenty minute acoustic song expressing the effects that the political climate has on the artist and subsequently each of us. A relatable work in the context of everyday suffering in contrast to Muldoon, the tone shifts yet again as Day Magee brings a mixture of expressive trauma and the subtly surreal. Before the audience there is the half nude figure of the artist, sporting a black caged mask, and a blood red saree slung around the artist’s waist and a yellow chain in hand as they perform to an echoing voice, speaking a narrative of past trauma.

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Day Magee

To wind down from an emotionally stirring and slightly disturbing narrative of trauma as presented by Magee we are given to the performance of Paul Francis Quinn. A light enjoyable interlude to the night, as the artist sings into a microphone as if on stage, his presence attempting to bridge the gap between performance art and the performing arts. Nonetheless, Quinn’s performance lifted the spirits of the crowd and lead into the final two performances of the night.

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Sara French

French is a frequent performer within Livestock, and in the trademark style of the artist she recites a compelling narrative alongside significant gestures and actions that make the performance intriguing with moments of comic relief. She tells a story of a woman suffering with the loss of her husband and a “contagious environmental illness” who bumps into a man who was running naked on a dare. This strange narrative is recited along side actions by French which can only be described as acrobatic. The artist disclaims “this is not a wall at all, it’s a situation”. This statement not only puts this story into perspective, it also puts the rest of performances into perspective for the audience. While what the audience at Livestock may have experienced a multi-layered string of performances, each performance is still nothing more than a situation that you are presented with, and you take what you may from it.

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Sara French

French’s actions were particularly significant as she divided, broke down and rebuilt walls with her body at the centre. The body was balanced upon broken walls, and rebuilt like a puzzle enclosing her body and built upon what she calls “a situation”. The significance of these simple yet impressive actions by the artist was enough to take away and ponder on long after the performance was finished.

Vicky Curtis brought down the night with a performance in which we were given the opportunity to particupate and connect with audience members that we’ve shared the night with. Holding hands in a circle while Curtis recites words of encouragement to the room, we are asked to pass around a candle and have a moment of silence. Each person had opportunity to have a moment with themselves and with the others in the room, showing patience and unity in the human experience as the night came to a close.

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Vicky Curtis

Performance cannot escape its context, however Livestock: Fresh Cuts happened to be the right context for every  one of these performances. These bite-sized performances created a meal of an event which was both satisfying and celebratory of diverse contemporary performance practice happening in Ireland today.

Livestock: Fresh Cuts, featuring Celina Muldoon, Darren Yorke, Day Magee, Paul Francis Quinn, Sara French and Vicky Curtis took place on August 17th, 2017. Curated by Eleanor Lawler and Francis Fay, this iteration of Livestock was part of the Dublin Live Art Festival at the Complex, curated by Niamh Murphy and Francis Fay. Photographs by Fiona Killeen (www.blueprintphotography.ie).

 

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On the Brink

by EL Putnam

Sometimes the allusion to force is more potent that the explicit expression of power.

Gareth Cutter starts his performance by standing slightly off to the side of the room with a slack posture. Once the audience takes their places, he moves to a open space and wires himself with a microphone. The device is sensitive — I can hear the subtle sounds of him wetting his lips with his tongue; tensing and releasing the muscles of his jaw. He puts on a pair of rubber gloves, then shifting his body to an assertive stillness. Muscles quiver from stasis. He carefully manipulates the rubber of his gloves, so there is subtle note of the erotic, complimented by his gestures that evoke a sexual tension; a sensuality of bondage that provides the underscore his actions. When he speaks, his voice is distorted. It is digitized and deepened. He is domineering yet lonely. Such connotations contrast his clean-cut hair and street clothes.

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Gareth Cutter performing Load. Photo by Julieann O’Malley.

Throughout the performance he tells a story — a strange journey that slips into the explicit without going over the edge, just like his actions that evoke rich eroticism without falling into orgasmic pleasure. He pulls his audience to the brink, but never climaxes. It is within this tension of sensuality, that he draws into relations of authority where submission or dominance are never clearly articulated. Instead he carefully allows glimpses into his erotic mind, using light, sound, and carefully controlled gestures to provide minimally staged evocations of the potential of force. I am drawn into this flirtation, left wondering what is beyond the allusion. The mystery shroudinh this sensuality evokes a complex desire that is left unsated and not understood, but it is the power of potential that leaves me wanting more.

I am pondering the challenges of relating to this complex expression of eroticism when I enter Johanna Zwaig’s performance. She is dressed in black, carrying a simple office portfolio. She appears stoic, cleaved by  a black stripe that runs down the left side of her face. She sits on a chair under the spotlight and opens her portfolio, which is filled with folded white handkerchiefs. She beings to sing.

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Johanna Zwaig performing Sounds Through the Wall. Photo by Fiona Killeen www.blueprintphotography.ie

Her voice fills the room with an echo of strength — it is a voice fit for the Opera stage, though we sit around her in a semi-circle, in position of closeness and intimacy that would not occur in the more formal context. The Spanish words flow to us as her voice drips with melancholy. Her impression evokes images of David Lynch, though I am filled with her energy that can only be transferred through live exchange. She breaks from her singing and lifts a handkerchief from the pile on her lap. Raising her hand into the air, she discards the square of white fabric, like a half-hearted flag of surrender. The lighting brightens slightly when it hits the ground. She again begins to sing.

While her voice and face convey a forceful embodiment of power, Zwaig remains seated, recollecting her poise between songs to once again release a handkerchief. I am enraptured by the tension she cultivates in her action; the strength of her voice, the melancholic beauty of the song, and the carefully maintained poise of her body that resists from being fully captured in the force of her excursion. I am again brought to the brink, but never pulled over.

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Johanna Zwaig performing Sounds Through the Wall. Photo by Fiona Killeen www.blueprintphotography.ie

The tension that both Cutter and Zwaig craft emerges from the play of exuberant force and resistance — allowing the body to carry strength and power, but never fully releasing it. As such, tension builds in my body as a witness, and I am left to hold myself at the brink of an abyss.

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Photo by Francis Fay.

Gareth Cutter performed Load and Johanna Zwaig performed Sounds Through the Wall on Friday 18 August as part of the Dublin Live Art Fesitval, organised and curated by Niamh Murphy and Francis Fay.

It’s ok we’re just resting

by Jack Beglin

I meet Rhiannon Armstrong on the Corner of Mary’s Lane and Bow Street. She is wearing navy blue overalls and is with her minder, Jacky. She carries two yellow caution signs with the logo of a sleeping stick figure and the caption ‘It’s ok we’re just resting’ printed on either side of the plaques. This is Public Selfcare System at the 2017 Dublin Live Art Festival.

As we turn the corner onto New Church Street and into Smithfield Square, Rhiannon explains that she has been suffering from chronic migraines for the last three years. She describes herself as ‘an expert at the durational performance of thriving in a world geared against our survival’ . She has developed a strategy in order to ensure a better quality of life. This strategy she shares with me on our one-to-one encounter.

First we will lay together in a public space, at which point Rhiannon will ask for permission to touch me on the shoulder. She will then whisper into my ear and then ask if it is ok to leave me to rest alone in the public space for fifteen minutes. We make our way to Smithfield Square opposite the Light House Cinema and stand between two large flower pots. Rhiannon leads a personal ritual.

‘On the count of three we will sit down together’ Rhiannon says as we look out at the derelict building in the distance.

‘One, two, three.’ We are now sitting together. I feel the cold of the ground creep up my spine.

‘I will now place this mat on the ground for you to lay on and you can rest your head on this’ Rhiannon explains, as she uncoils a pair of blue pants from her neck and places it at the top of the small purple yoga mat.

‘One, two, three.’ I am now looking up at the blue sky framed by a sliver arc shaped street lamp.

‘On the count of three we will turn to our left side. One, two, three.’ My vision is now horizontal as I see a pair of Adidas tracksuit bottoms creep their way towards me from the distance. I take shelter behind the darkness of my eyelids.

‘May I touch you on your shoulder?’ Rhiannon asks.

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I agree. The man in the Adidas tracksuit bottoms is now intercepted by Jacky and gently directed away from me.

‘This is your time to rest. It is ok to rest, you deserve this time to rest,’ Rhiannon whispers as I am lulled into a daydream. Time passes, the sounds of children playing pass and people come and go as I seek refuge behind my eyes.

‘Jack, may I leave you now?’ Rhiannon asks.

I agree and as I feel her touch release from my shoulder a sense of vulnerability passes over my body. Time passes, the sound of the Luas Tram signals in the air as a flock of pigeons scuttle from one side of the square to the other. I mark time by the sound of passing footsteps.

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Rhiannon gently touches me on the shoulder; ‘it’s time’ she says as I slowly rise to standing. Jacky is in conversation with a man in a flat cap. I approach the man. Tears well in his eyes as he rolls a cigarette with grubby fingers. Rhiannon asks me how my experience was. I say that it was nurturing to be resting with her, but then I felt a sudden venerability being alone. In a small way I could understand what it is like to be homeless. The man in the flat cap places the cigarette in his mouth. He shakes my hand. ‘I’ll say a prayer for ya’ he says. I say goodbye to Rhiannon, Jacky and the man in the flat cap as I make my way towards Bow Street.

Public Self-Care system is a site specific one to one performance that draws attention to the relationship between the body and public space. The ‘costume’ Rhiannon wears and the ‘set design’ of the yellow caution plaques are theatrical. They draw the attention of the spectator and frame the interaction between Rhiannon and the participant ‘as performance’. Framing this interaction in such a way creates an ‘extra -daily’ space where the spectator’s habitual to and fro is temporarily suspended. In Brechtian terms a verfremdungseffekt, or alienation effect, is created. The spectator double takes and as a result has the opportunity to consider the implications of what is happening in the space – the private act of resting in a public area.

I had the opportunity to empathise with Rhiannon. I understood though my body the implications of her illness and the strategy she employs to combat it. In a small way the experience illustrated to me the kind of vulnerability that homeless people may feel by exposing their private and intimate acts in public. I can’t for a minute say that I understand the full embodied and existential experience of homelessness, but Public Self Care System brought me one baby step closer to the experience of vulnerability in public space.

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Rhinnon Armstrong performed Public Selfcare System on 18 August as part of the 2017 Dublin Live Art Festival, curated and organised by Niamh Murphy and Francis Fay. Images by Fiona Killeen (www.blueprintphotography.ie)

The Community Carries

by Sara Muthi

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Time and space based art work carries a quality that separates it from all other work. It can only be experienced at one time, in one space and only ever by the amount of bodies the venue can take. The documentation of the work, as in the photographs that may surface after, including the texts published and conversations surrounding the event, are all just traces of something that has passed. It is not often that you can experience live art twice, but once in a while you are privileged to be faced again with the familiar atmosphere of community based art such as ALL CHOIR.

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The intention of ALL CHOIR has always been to use the commonality of music as a starting point for social engagement and discussion. While ALL CHOIR’s performance at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios back in April was successful in its goal, part two takes it further. Abandoning the comfortable and familiar setting of the gallery space, ALL CHOIR takes itself to Liberty Park, located in north Dublin’s inner city as part of the Treeline Project, created by Oonagh Young and Mary Cremin. This facilitated the perfect collaboration between a work such as ALL CHOIR whose objective is to break down barriers between the everyday and the art world, and the object of the Treeline Project, which strives for social engagement after the community was divided due to reconstruction in the area. The aim to use art to activate the social engagement of a community was beautifully complimented by each others artistic and local intentions.

As stated in the first response to ALL CHOIR, a large portion of art falls within one of two categories, art that creates dialogue with other art, and art that is in conversation with life. ALL CHOIR is a work which embeds itself into life effortlessly, and its change of scenery from the gallery to the inner city has made this ring ever more true.

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Lyrics from song “All”

Lifelike art often reimagines the media of art, but more often than not avoids specific categorization entirely, making it difficult to speak of the work as simply performance. Unlike conceptual art in which the work is carried by the concept, a broad term used to encompass much of contemporary art and performance, ALL CHOIR  is carried by the community. The community is the concept, it is the point of the work. The scheduled rehearsals were just as important for the work, and part of the work as the final event was.

The instinctual and raw nature of the vocals used by Buckeridge along with the unpolished, unprofessional voices of the singing audience concocted an aura of oneness and comfort for all involved. The simple nature of a choir in a gallery became a choir in a park, surrounded by pedestrians and locals increasingly blurred the lines between art and life. We all experience life in different degrees, in different context, at different ages, however any degree of life experience would enable you to understand and relate to the lyrics of Buckeridge. Encompassing all walks of life, the lyrics are inspired by life and simply translated to us by a keyboard, our voices and each other.

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Lyrics for the song “Together”

While live art can never be presented in the same way twice, that was not the aim of the second Dublin based ALL CHOIR event. It was simply to continue its mission, continue its vision in creating a wider community of engagement, with each other as human beings but also as creatives, individuals with their own struggles and questions, coming together in vocal harmony around life inspired lyrics.

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The ALL CHOIR, created by Mark Buckeridge, was presented as part of the Treeline Project, an arts initiative by Oonagh Young and Mary Cremin, on 5 August 2017. Images are extracts from lyrics by Mark Buckeridge.

 

The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder

by Léann Herlihy

What was my purpose?
To sit; to swaddle; to remain silent.
The elephant in the room – a woman
cradling a pail of milk to her womb.
Which one will fall to the foot of the cross,
the fifty litres of milk or sixty kilos
of woman?

I fall to the ground – a stigma;
it falls to the ground – a crime;
we both fall to the ground – a tragedy.

Assistance arrives;
two midwives from the crowd.
Their knees bend,
my legs spread.
A growing discomfort;
a ripening malaise;
out comes the fruits of my labour.

The deed is done, the doers undone.[1]
I stare around for reassurance, which is
neither met nor denied, but rather, uncertified.

– An extract from the artists notebook following the performance, The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder.

The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder, photo. Marcus Cassidy

The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder addresses the position of the female body as a focal point of repressed histories and political desires in Ireland. The performance stemmed from the group exhibition, SANDMAN, held in the Complex, Dublin (27 July to 1 August, 2017), in accordance with STREAM. The show’s undertone was influenced by Verse 32 from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament:

“They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshipped it and sacrificed it […]”

I – a young Irish woman – sat, swaddling a glass pail of milk; an undeniable burden protruding from my stomach. My objective was to abstain from assistance; to carry this load in solitude, a task which became insurmountable.

The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder, audience members; Jill Abbot and Ciara O' Brien, photo. Marcus Cassidy

An hour passed, when two female audience members came to my aid. Removing a refuse bag from my pocket, they held it between my legs, while I pulled the plug from the vessel’s nether side. Out chugged the contents, relieving me from my seated position; a weight lifted.

A glass pail with no capacity, I loosen the umbilical chord of what tethered me to the vessel. I now stand fully exposed – yet, free. Taking the bag of milk, I drag it in circles, building momentum as the contents slowly begins to leak out. Suddenly, I stop – am I the person left to carry this weight around?

I reach out to three men, to help lift this encumbrance over the mouth of the glass pail. With difficulty, they grasp the delicate plastic between their fingers, while I caress it’s underbelly; we share responsibility. I see the struggle in their arms, the discomfort on their faces – I withdraw my hand from the growth and thrust it forward with force, breaking the bulge’s seal. The contents drains into its former place; waiting for the cycle to commence again.

The sacrificed calf feeds from the swollen udder, photo. Marcus Cassidy.

[1] “The deed is done, the doers undone” alludes to the story of Macbeth; that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plotted and committed murders “the deed is done”, and subsequently became mentally tormented by their evil deeds “the doers undone”.

Photographs by Marcus Cassidy

We have no answers to your problems

by Sara Muthi

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CVTO DO FVTVRV, Manifesto print out, 2017

Wilder Being Command was a performance event that stemmed from an ambitious exhibition titled As Above, So Below. Featuring modern masters and landmark contemporary art works, the exhibition explores “how the spiritual endures in our everyday lives”.

Rather than creating a detailed report on the relationship between art and spirituality over the last hundred years, it brought the audience a selection of perspectives into art and spirituality by significant figures in both modern and contemporary art. The success of this exhibition was due to its approach in allowing for wonder and astonishment on the part of the audience, and this carried over into its accompanying performance seamlessly.

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Gareth Anton Averill, The Harvest Swarm, 2017

Golden flowing robes on bicycles, chimes echoing through the wind, emerging yellow-dressed figures performing rituals in wide open spaces and marching with a devil-masked parade were a select few of mystical moments that flooded the night. There was no hidden motive within the various performances, no agenda or recruitment that was being pushed, as is the case with many spiritually centred events. Instead, there was a communal energy as visitors lounged and communicated on picnic blankets which reinforced, according to the description of the event on IMMA’s website, “an organic connection to the earth, to the present and to one another”. Intentionally curated as a night of overlapping performances engaging the audience at different stages of astonishment and socialisation, the night took form in performances that happen around you, along with performances that  demanded to be followed, or gave instruction.  Visitors were even asked to stand lightly as to not make a dent in the historic grounds, also known as “the meadows, adjacent to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, drawing no. 12 – 005 provision 2, that is to say the grounds of the unexcavated heritage site of St. Maniums Monastery” as repeated during one of the evening’s performance by the group Barry on site of Camping on the undertow.

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Barry, Camping on the undertow, 2017

There were few single performing bodies, apart from the of the compelling work of Isadora Epstein titled Presentation on Mesmerise (2017) and Christopher Mahon’s piece (performed by Oona Doherty) titled The Longest Arms in The History of Pugilism (2017). Overwhelmingly there was a myriad of concepts and rituals performed by groups that filled the space, creating a sense in which the absence of the single performing body was a near relief. The concept and ritual of the work Experiment in Falling by Emily Mast overcame the urge to analyse one body but appreciate a collective, ritual of people that emerged from the very audience watching. Not only that, but the communal energy that surrounds people when music wraps a group is no cheap trick, but a powerful force to gathers consciousness together.

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Emily Mast, Experiments in Falling, 2017

Wilder Being Command did not simply give a single view of spirituality in today’s ever increasing secular society, but offered a comprehensive sample of spirituality through the lens of contemporary practitioners, allowing a thirst for more. While each event acknowledged its immediate context and became borderline site-specific, every artist had an important autonomous point of view worth sharing. Although dealing with spiritual subject matter, no answers were given, either directly or indirectly. As with other, but not all spiritual encounters, the experience of the here and now is paramount over answers and that is what we were given.

 

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Stephan Doitschnioff, CVLTO DO FVTVRV, 2017

The evening orchestrated a blend of light hearted enjoyable works, as well as thoroughly enchanting and thought provoking pieces, which accumulated to the build up of the final act of the night. The first point of the manifesto CVLTO DO FVTVRV states: “we have no answers to your problems”. This statement and the procession of the CVLTO DO FVTVRV is what finalised Wilder Beings Command. The manifesto of this group gives us insight into the motive of the near thirty-minute march that concluded the evening.  Leading the audience all around the historical grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art the third statement of the manifesto reads “We believe in the immediate data of consciousness and we march for the improvement of its content”. The simple marching alongside other invested witnesses on historic grounds with a near hundred drumming beats echoing the space is an experience you could not help but be wholly absorbed in. While no answers were found in this spiritually charged journey of overlapping moments within this event, we are reminded that the spiritual takes many forms, many perspectives and “endures in our everyday lives”.

6. Stephen Doitschinoff
Stephan Doitschnioff, CVLTO DO FVTVRV, 2017

Wilder Beings Command, featuring Gareth Anton Averill, Stephan Doitschnioff, Stephen Dunne, Mark Titchner, Daniel O’Sullivam, Isadora Epstein, Christopher Mahon, Emily Mast and Barry (Edward Clydsdale Thomas, Sjoerd Westbroek and Frans-Willem Koresten)  curated by Rachel Gilbourne and Janice Hough. took place on July 29th, 2017, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Images by Misha Beglin.

The Stillness of Silence

by EL Putnam

Stillness is not devoid of motion, since complete stillness is impossible, like silence after John Cage. Even if an object does not appear to be moving, it exists on a massive celestial body—the Earth—that is perpetually in motion. The stillness of the human body is a major illusion, as it vibrates with life from minute gestures, the pulsating flow of blood, the tingling energy of the nervous system, along with the many other corporeal processes that ceaselessly function. It is the illusion of stillness that make it so provocative, as it is not a void, but requires a deep engagement to fully value what is already present. Thus, Inma Pavon’s performance that complimented Danny McCarthy’s Beyond Silence: A Bell Rings in an Empty Sky appropriately draws from the minimal repertoire of stillness.

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Dressed in a white Kimono, with her face covered by a sheer cloth, Pavon minutely paces around McCarthy’s installation of un-rung bells. Her steps are minor, her back erect, and her hands folded onto each other through the hours that the work takes. The white of her costume contrast the rich blue walls, which become the empty sky of McCarthy’s title. Like a moving cloud drifting across the heavens, Pavon resists the temptation of movement, maintaining a composed posture that takes extreme bodily and mental dedication. The minimalism of her actions draw attention to the most subtle gestures, charging them with an energy that is not absent of movement, but loaded with the potential for movement. Pavon’s appearance echoes the marble busts that line the walls, emphasizing how McCarthy’s installation of bells do not fill a white void, but create an intervention in a space commonly not utilized for the exhibition of art: the gallery floor.

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Pavon’s steps delicately around the bells, maintaining a persistent walking meditation that adds an illusion of preciousness to McCarthy’s objects. The bells are kitschy tchotchkes, the collectable objects that function as souvenirs. These are not the sort of objects that enter museum collections, though they are of the sort that are made precious through personal accumulation. McCarthy’s act of placing them within a fine arts gallery shifts their significance, which is further transformed by Pavon’s graceful motions into a spiritual reverence. Her actions imbue an aura around these humble objects that are detached from their histories of personal affection.

 

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Witnessing this performance requires an empathetic stillness on behalf of the viewer, for any sudden motion disrupts the energy that Pavon cultivates. The subtleties of Pavon’s performance contrast the growing sonic chaos seeping into the room that day. First it is the sounds of the café, the other galleries, and even the street that infiltrate the space, accompanied by the hum of the building itself. Then it is the sounds produced by David Stalling, Anthony Kelly, Katie O’Looney, and Danny McCarthy in an adjacent gallery that contribute to the aural ambiance of the experience. As such, a collaboration forms across spaces through the subtleties that stillness and silence afford. Even though McCarthy’s interventions already draw attention to the liminal spaces of the Crawford galleries, Pavon’s actions, and later the sounds of McCarthy and others, enunciate these qualities through their performances. In particular, Pavon’s impossible stillness emphasizes the fullness of silence.

 

Inma Pavon performed at the publication launch of Danny McCarthy’s Beyond Silence: A Bell Rings in an Empty Sky (available from Farpoint Recordings), along with a sound performance by McCarthy, Katie O’Looney, David Stalling, and Anthony Kelly at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork on 8 July 2016. McCarthy’s exhibition of the same title runs from 26 May to 12 August, 2017. Photographs by EL Putnam.