At the end of last year, Sue Tompkins performed her 2010 work, ‘Hallo welcome to Keith Street‘ as part of the launch for her web-based book My Kind Book at Dia:Chelsea, New York. My Kind Book reveals Tompkins’ relationship towards word and voice. Her act of transposition, moving off the page and into performance, is displayed as a subject in its own right.
Sophie Macpherson will be coming to London to show Deep Dancing on Thursday at Tate Modern. This time last year, Macpherson was working with artist Clare Stephenson to produce their first collaborative theatre project for Tramway, Glasgow. Entitled Shoplifters Shopgirls, the cabaret-style performance presented Macpherson and Stephenson’s sculptural and graphic work as a series of theatrical props and proxy selves, activated by a host of characters played by the artists and other non-actors. Here, they discussed the project with Steven Cairns, my former co-editor at MAP magazine:
Steven Cairns: You are collaborating on Shoplifters, Shopgirls, a project that exists within the parameters of theatre, rather than a gallery. How does it relate to your work as individuals, and how have your interests merged?
Clare Stephenson: We both make work that has theatrical connotations, but it has always been specific to the gallery. It wouldn’t operate in the same way if we simply transferred the existing elements to the theatre, so we focused more on the actions of the artist as producer, consumer and performer, among other things.
Macpherson: Participation has become a bigger part of my work; it’s a progression that has happened over the last four years. I think it’s related to being in a band [Muscles of Joy]. The screens or the sets I made in the past are like empty stages, and the viewer participates with the work physically and sculpturally. Also, I’ve always photographed myself with the objects I make (and recorded these relationships in recent films) but doing theatre is an opportunity to make it live.
James Richards, Not Blacking Out, Just Turning The lights Off, 2011.
James Richards is working on a single-channel video as part of TVL in May. Here’s a Q&A I did with him from last year, a version of which appeared in Mousse.
Commissioned as part of THE VOICE IS A LANGUAGE, artist Cara Tolmie presents a new work comprising of text and performance. Titled The end is a tumultuous noise, Tolmie first performed the work Thursday, 15 April 2010, in Tramway 4. Presented here is the documentation of the text piece. Video documentation will be posted shortly.
Click images for larger view.
The following interview was conducted between Isla Leaver-Yap and Meredith Monk in her apartment, 3 March 2010.
MEREDITH MONK: What we have of 16mm Earrings is a document made by Robert Withers. We shot it in 1977; that’s already ten years after the piece was made, which was 1966. In the original performance I had an accumulation of sound loops, which made the environment completely haunting. To me, the film seems more fragmented. I was working to make an ironic relationship between the text and what was happening. The thing I like about the document of 16mm Earrings is that at least – I mean, looking at it now it’s a pretty moving rite of passage of a young woman coming into her sexuality. But the original performance had more power and sophistication.
Sue Tompkins’ ‘My Dataday’ is a spoken word work currently on show in THE VOICE IS A LANGUAGE, Tramway, Glasgow. Accompanying the sound work is a new typwritten text on paper, displayed below.
Rhizome is a New York-based organisation that is dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Founded in 1992 as an email digest, Rhizome has grown into a non-profit that stages exhibitions, events, while also publishing daily art news and in-depth criticism online.
Ceci Moss, Senior Editor at Rhizome, talks with Isla Leaver-Yap about the artists and work shown in THE VOICE IS A LANGUAGE project.