It began with an image, this is how it should begin, even though this is how it ended this is what I remember
I am not happy with the final section, for me its a performance in 3 parts and the last section doesn’t sit quite right, doesn’t fit.
The final image is the only salvageable thing…. the rest is badly spoken stories, struggling with humour to mask the trauma of this
Brown hair, green eyes and a tendency to have to go a little bit further than everyone else
What does that even mean? How can you ask me to speak these words now? Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you realise who you become and how difficult it is for me to speak the stories you wear like a prize, like your identity, this is who you were, this isn’t who I am. Except I am, I am a woman, am I still a girl?
Having lost the piece of paper I wrote my ‘homework’ on I am trying to remember what it was.
There were 3 suggestions of which I vaguely remember 2.
1. Do something embarrassing – or at least that’s what I heard, could’ve equally have been ‘be vulnerable’, as I am often pushed into trying to do this, which maybe equates to be scared and let us see it…. of course that’s not really in my nature…..perhaps chaos, disorder, removal of the carefully controlled structure is what is needed….. do it again with no formal structure? Fail?
2. Write ‘us’ into it…. .write for more than one person… write a script..?
results may be posted in due course.
I want to tell a story
I am going to tell you a story
It’s a story about me… it’s a story about you…..
I mean because the story’s about me, it’s about you…. I mean because the story’s about you its about me.
This is our story, we make it here, now, together in this space.
When I was 9 I played Oberon, King of the Fairies. When I was 11 I played Sherlock Holmes, Neil Cooper was Watson. When I was 26 I played Travel Survey Tony…..
Have you ever met one of those people? You know, one of those people?
Tony’s got 98% of an AKA 47 hidden underneath the bed, not everything goes back where it should after a war.
Tony can’t hear me and he can’t see me, but he’s got some great stories has old Tony.
Now what you need to do is take the teaspoon like this in the cup and just waggle it back and forth, George Orwell knew about a good cup of tea, just waggle it in the cup, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth……back……and…….forth……..back…..and…..forth…
I am a woman, I am a girl, I am whatever you want me to be, I am just a wet cunt. C….c….c…..c…cunt…….C……c……c…..c…….
…..and I want to say…..(inaudible escape of sound)…….
Now if you take one thing away with you, let it be this, the milk always goes in AFTER the tea and George agrees with me on this one as well.
*Eat an apple and put it back together again
*These are my period pants/story telling bra/never worn red lacy knickers
What happens if I repeat a performance that is 5 years old? How has time impacted on my understanding of the piece – do I still believe what I did then? If this is autobiographical performance how does knowing what I know now and have lived since change the work? Can I stand in both place simultaneously?
What is the relationship between process then and process now? Using the documentation of the making of the original can I remake the work following the same instructions/method/process? How will my responses to the tasks have changed and what might that reveal?
What role does archive/document/documentation having in re-making or in reflecting on the original? What might this reveal about documentation and how might it impact on ways of documenting now?
What is the function of repetition in this? I am intrigued by the idea of the work as a text, like a play, can this work be reproduced in this way and if not, why not?
how do I feel now about how I felt then? How can I make new by making again?
I may also be asking: what is love? what does it mean to be with you? How has sex/love/relationships changed for me in the last 5 years? (is personal still political?) How does other work I’ve made sit in this then and now timeline? Is it still a feminist performance (for me or the person watching, was it then? is it now? what has changed?)
Repetition (sameness & difference)
Memory (& time)
My practice and work
And so it is crucial up front to signpost the difference between ‘document’ (the unintentional traces, detritus, residues left over from practice as research in the form of coffee cups, cigarette butts and the hair, skin and sweat of our bodies that may later be identified as important by the archaeo-archivist) and ‘documentation’ (the intentional desire to create the indexical sign out of which meaning may be revealed)
Examine the past; interrogate what’s left from previous performances (including audience memory?)
Repeat processes of making using existing notes as a template or guideline
Repeat by attempting to reproduce exactly previous performance.
Note the differences and the similarities
Respond through reflecting on then & now; how do I feel now about how I felt then? How can I make new by making again?
Examine documentation of other artist’s work – can I remake this? Research other artists interested in repeating performance.
Re-perform at regular intervals for an audience.
…. lots of doing and reflecting on doing and doing again…… don’t forget to remember content and meaning of the originals; its not all form and function.
tonight I will make a short performance about what it is I do, perhaps even what I am.
Its so frustrating so much is on the tip of my tongue that I’ve been finding it hard to speak, to know where to begin, its been a while coming. In fact I’ve been a bit worried. I am still quite scared.
A beginning, a new thing, something I haven’t done before to look back like this to find something new.
Simple responses seem a good way to begin, indeed I’ve been thinking that sex stories becomes love stories, of course there would be fewer cushions to sit on, maybe they’d be bigger.
I was thinking about processes, about repeating them as best I could from the notes I made and the tasks I did which took me to each performance …. although I say each performance I really just mean the first.
It feels hard to think about repeating Underwear, in fact I’m scared of it. I’ve watched it before, as a relic I enjoy it still, to think about making it again scares the shit out of me…. perhaps because of what it means I need to face about love. blurgh “love”, love’s for girls, for the weak and needy (although I am listening to Rufus Wainwright remembering, accidently).
I wrote today, in my notebook and ideas keep floating around and I keep saying that I”ll remember them which of course doesn’t happen, the fear though, the fear of writing it down. The fear of starting, of admitting that I’ve started, I’ve begun a new process and journey.
Maybe I should make this 2 minutes about the fear of beginnings. About critics. About being unsure of being able to do it again, that’s what it feels like it is. perhaps its about being caught out – the last work was a fluke, people said it was pretty good…. perhaps best to leave it at that then. Not an option.
so begin, begin…..
What did I mean to say in Underwear when I said, “I am a woman, I am a girl”? Is this what I would mean now, if I said it again? I can say a lot more now, 5 years later. I can say a lot less. Bitterness and sadness seep into hope and naivety. Sex it seems to me only gets more complicated with more to lose and more to desire and much less to throw away. I spend less time worrying about my bust size these days and more about my increasing waist line. In 5 years time I suspect I will admire the innocence of that sentence.
How can I even face a nice cup of tea? I actually feel a little sick in the stomach at the thought of it. Such a mess. I’ve made my peace now. We moved on, became better people. You said your piece and I said mine. It was hard to make, it feels harder to return to. Still, as I said before, “I guess its true, I guess you’ll always be in love with your first love. Maybe you’ll always be searching to replace the gap it left. Always looking for a replacement, something to fill the void. You keep searching for it and other people will come and you’ll want to do it differently, you’ll want to try again, to make this time perfect. You couldn’t fix it the first time, you know that now but it doesn’t matter…”
There’s a lot that was never said, or finished, or realised within Tony, Susan, The Lady and The Artist……
Then of course most recently Left Luggage and the art of train travel which I’m not quite sure I’ve finished yet. Still reflecting, still thinking, still performing – it’s legacy isn’t quite clear but it needs another 15 minutes at least adding to it if its to have any ‘real’ life as a commercial piece of work.
I’m still not sure what it means and to add into it I fear I’d have to open up that which I’m so sure about now. It’s finished, it’s pretty why would I want to mess with it I’m still happy to look at it in the palm of my hand.
Of course two people are in 3 pieces of this work, one person is in all 4. It’s about you and it’s about me and what we do about that. How do we live with each other? How can it always be perfect with the type of pain that creates passion and not fear?