Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Performance Art

click photo to enlarge
We stumbled on the subject of today's photographs by accident during a walk around Spalding, Lincolnshire. As we passed a large bay window at the front of the old house in Ayscoughee Gardens I noticed a young, barefooted woman standing inside on the wide window sill, a basket in her outstretched hand. It could only be some kind of "art" I thought, and when we went in we discovered it was just that.

The performance artist, Amanda Coogan, was working with seven emerging artists creating and showcasing "site-specific durational performances". Apparently Amanda's practice "involves communicating ideas through longitudinal performance. Her work often begins with her own body and challenges the expectations of discernible context, such as head banging to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and signing the lyrics to Gill Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution will not be Televised." On this occasion she was standing in an empty hall, her neck painted blue, weighed down with multiple bags, slowly rotating, one part of a work that also included other performers, film, text, and a link that wasn't clear to me with local ghosts or ghost hunters.

I'm more of a visual arts (and crafts) person myself, so whilst I often view paintings, sculpture, photography and associated  media, performance art is not something that I usually seek out. However, as readers of this blog will know, I'm happy to point my camera at anything that piques my interest, and this did that. The smaller photograph shows Amanda in the context in which she was performing at the bottom of some rather fine stairs. It also includes my wife ascending those stairs to join me in looking down from above on what I can only describe as "the bag lady".

photographs and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 40mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/20
ISO: 3200
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On