Friday, 28 October 2011

"see the music and hear the image"

This past two weeks has been an absolute blast and given me real insight into artists’ collaborations and the inherent tensions of many people combining in a large scale project.

My introduction to the musical, sculptural, performative, theatrical, dialogical process of the efforts of Belinfante, Barnett, McLean, Bourrett and Lixenberg has been truly inspiring and often perplexing when people come together to create something unique.

Belinfante's and Lixenberg's input has reaffirmed my personal interest in the notion of musicality in contemporary art and the versatility of the voice as an instrument, as a way of engaging with the public and as an identifiable form between artist and participator - whether as performer or audience member.
The complexities of this project enabled a breakdown of the restrictions that exist between viewer, artist, the unaware public bystander, and who or what can become sculptural performance. The intensity of Performance week is now over, where the artists, curators and production team battled with a schedule that included meetings, discussions, Open Rehearsals, actual rehearsals, 5o'clock salons and the Culminating Performance. And so we are now left with remnants of this chaotic but fantastic time in the form of an exhibition in the Cooper Gallery.
The exhibition gathers attention through the unusual sounds which echo from the Cooper Gallery, and then captivates the viewer further through Barnett's geometric graphic based movement recordings framed by glimpses of performances from the previous week. The long stage diagonally disrupts the space leaving the viewer with a longing to have witnessed its orginal and live purpose - as a place to perform.

I am incredibly happy to have played a part in this collaboration between five diverse artists, Exhibitions at DJCAD curators, and the other members of the production team. It is always hard to have a clear opinion on something you have been so heavily involved with, and I do believe that those who attend the exhibition will come away unsure of the gallery experience presented and it will be interesting the response it receives. However, I believe the performances that many witnessed last week were beneficial in engaging people from various backgrounds, with the majority of singers, drummers, audience members enquiring about other opportunities to participate and learn more about the work. Those who participated went away feeling positive about their new experience, widening the appeal of contemporary art and of the vibrancy artists can bring to a cityscape such as Dundee.

Members of Dundee Drum Academy and individual drummers spontaneously drumming at the top of Crichton Street after the City Square Open Rehearsal.

Margaret Mather's and The Free Voice Choir practicing before the Open Rehearsal in the Botanics Greenhouse.

Vids by Holly Knox Yeoman

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