13th December 2009
A durational performance with projected video and seven year old Eve.
A dream like video loop plays against an interior white wall. The images show a pair of hands winding sisal string around a stick with a nail in the end of it. The video pauses when the string is pushed onto the nail and then begins the sequence again.
I sit in front of the projection and one by one dismantle a large pile of identical stick,string,nail assemblages. I silently hand first the stick and then the string which I have wound around my hand, to Eve who places them carefully in a repetitive pattern covering the floor.
The performance is viewed from both inside and outside the space through the windows.
We continue silently until all the assemblages are dismantled and exit hand in hand leaving the sticks, string, and nails in place.
This was a piece was an experimental work that came from a recurring dream. Originally conceived to be performed alone, the more I thought about it the more sense it made for Eve my daughter to do it with me. I had the dream as a teenager and young adult and it represented my frustration with not being able to find answers to the questions in my life. Since having children I realise that there are no definitive answers only the choices I make, and Eve has been instrumental in unravelling that for me. Thus her collaboration made sense to me.
I didn’t feel as prepared for this work as I would normally would. I had planned to wear a particular thing but since I asked Eve at the last minute to take part it was better that we wore similar clothes. The space was very intimate, people were sat very close to us, it didn’t feel like a performance, the audience watched carefully and were completely silent themselves as Eve and I worked together on our simple task.
I set up the installation with myself sat in front of the projection wearing simple clothing that fitted with the installation in terms of its colour and shape. I think the work with Eve and I would have been better in a domestic setting. It felt unfinished and unconsidered as it was, our images incongruous with the installation. The last minute decision to ask Eve to do the piece with me fitted conceptually but not visually with what had been already planned.
I liked the look of the materials on the grey concrete floor and the meticulous way Eve independently chose to arrange them. The piece continued without us as the video played and the materials remained.
People described it as poetic.
I would like to work with Eve again. She added something that the work would have lacked without her, an authenticity. I am interested in this on one hand, very real domestic and personal situation and the setting up of a performance ethos/situation as the context for it. We weren’t doing something that we would normally do and yet the task made sense, and Eve was completely relaxed about being in that situation with me for the first time. It has made me think about the ‘performative’ in everyday life and in the creation of work.