On Thursday, December 5th, myself and eight others held an exhibition displaying our works relating to the Body as Material workshop we have been attending for the past four weeks. This workshop made us question how and why the body could be used in art, and how we could implement this in to our own practice. The exhibition was a collection of video, performance, photography, and interactive art.
We began setting up in the morning in preparation for our 4pm opening. We had responsibility of setting up and using the space to our best ability, which became stressful as there were a lot of technological problems throughout the day. However, although the morning began somewhat stressful, the outcome was definitely worth it as people started to pile in. All of our hard work felt so rewarding and I am so proud of myself and the group for putting in so much effort and time in to the whole process.
I filmed myself writing out excerpts from my diary from last year on to various surfaces, such as glass, mirror and foam. I then made a 2 minute compilation of these videos as a type of reflection which I displayed along with an audio. Although the audio was somewhat difficult to hear, I liked that you had to focus closely on my work to really listen to the speaking voice that went with it.
I also wanted to display some of the work created in the video. These were placed sitting below the projection, with the mirror centred so you could see your own reflection while watching the video.
It was interesting to see my own work displayed, as well as watching others receive it. I felt somewhat nervous in the beginning as art can be something so personal, yet open to interpretation if you haven’t included any context. It’s daunting that people can freely interpret you and your art.
These photographs are from Emily Chan’s performance ‘eating situations’. This is an extension of her sculpture work which displayed collection of clay noodle bowls stacked in to piles to represent her diet and culture. The performance, which lasted around 45 minutes, saw Chan setting up a collection of items as if she were at home. She sat cross legged, watching a Japanese drama programme while boiling water to cook and eat Kimchi noodles. The performance made me think of comfort and relaxation, and although I didn’t relate to the specifics of food or what she was watching, I felt somewhat connected to the artist through something so simple.
These are from Heather Russell’s performance named ‘The Void’. ‘The Void’ displays Russell in plain black and white clothing, wearing a cylindrical mask over her head – a handmade mesh woven with thin black material. The performance is connected to her video piece held across from her performance which shows the artist standing in front of the sea in the same attire, committing a range of motions using bricks (spinning, tilting the weight in her hands, stacking the bricks, etc.)
Her work is related to PTSD and how memories can be altered or even erased when we try to remember them after a traumatic event.
As the performance began, the whole room felt quiet and everyone gathered around. As the mask covers Russell’s head, it felt somewhat eerie to see this unrecognizable body to be scraping around bricks. The most powerful part of the performance I felt, was the use of sound by dropping and stacking the bricks due to the contrast in sound against the silent audience.