Monday, 17 October 2011

Setting the stage, settling the score and drawing a crowd

Today was the first salon for A Cut A Scratch A Score. Having spent the day working hard on the initial stage(s) of the project the artists Sam Belinfante, David Barnett, Adeline Bourret and the sculptor Bruce McLean invited us into the gallery to introduce their project and open up the discussion.

Topics of conversation ranged from why Bruce is not an artist to whether or not trees could 'draw', but mainly centred around the idea of the score and it's importance to the work they make.
The notion of scoring work is an interesting one. Traditionally associated with classical music, the score is often seen as a rigid set of rules, a precise record of a melody to ensure that it may replicated exactly each time it is played. Sam, David and Bruce however see a score more as a set of guidelines that help shape work, which if picked up by another artist would produce an entirely different result. For them anything can be a score.

This particularly resonated with me as I use the technique of scoring work when working performatively as a method of documentation. A score of an improvised work, when made retrospectively can document an aspect of performative work that is beyond a camera; it can provide insight into the thought process of the artist as they make the work. It can also then be used in a way similar to how Sam, David and Bruce use scores; to inform new work. It is interesting how even when the same artist responds again to the same score the outcome can be entirely different.

Adeline's method of working, creating a "playspace" and collecting "clues" to use as a score was especially interesting. Inhabiting a space to explore and play with ideas and inspirations allows for successes and failures (both equally important in the creative process) and for new possibilities to emerge. Far from scores being rigid rules, they allow a freedom to create.
The other hot topic was that of drawing. Bruce highlighted the importance of the drawing process as a real creativity and invention, stating that often the working drawings are far more interesting than the final piece of artwork.

Following the writers in residence talks and open rehearsals, the next few salons should be every bit as thought provoking as this one. The artists (and sculptor) are keen for you to shape the salons so if you have anything you want to ask or put to the artists feel free to come along to the Cooper Gallery at 5pm and bring your questions, scores and more.

I will leave you with a thought for the day courtesy of Bruce McLean; everything we use in our daily lives, from our socks and shoes to the nuts, bolts and components in a washing machine was drawn before it was made.

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