This Saturday (14th November, 2009) i’m going to embark on my first endurance/durational art work. i’m a bit nervous and excited all at the same time. i’m nervous because i don’t know a whole lot about this kind of performance work. i know a few key artists who do this kind of work – mostly from sydney**, really – but apart from that, i’m kind of flying blind. heading into this realm has evolved from prior conceptual works i’ve done about listening in the city and i thought it would be worthwhile to try it and see.
i’m also nervous because it’s going to be 35ºC on Saturday and the Myer Christmas Parade will be marching straight past me. For those who aren’t in Melbourne, the MCP is a huge commercial venture that takes up a ridiculous amount of time, energy, space and noise in the centre of town, heralding all things Myer. And Santa. And kids. It’s prime fodder for The Small Paper and various limp broadcasters.
I’m nervous because, even on a regular day, i’m exhausted after attending to the sounds of the city by not drowning them out, or sublimating them. Add to that extra heat, time and sound and i’m expecting to be brain-dead by 9pm.
However, i’m excited because the outcome, for me, is still largely unknown. It’s an area that i’m looking forward to venturing into and i’m looking forward to being part of the anode festival in the crazy way that I am. This work also provides some opportunities for me to discover ways to present conceptual and time-based work without video* and to continue investigating ways that i can convey what i’m interested in to others. It’s the first work i’ll have made post-post-grad, so the pressure to document the bejesus out of it has, thankfully, been reduced.
I’m also excited because it feels like the need for work that takes time, that isn’t quite so 2.0, is returning and that process, as opposed to ‘taddah!’ outcome needs to be nutured again.
And perhaps there’s also something personal about the relationship between pain and art, politics and suffering that is attractive or curious to me at the moment. It feels ernest (although i’ll have that with a pinch of salt, please). Perhaps this is how marathon runners, or 24-hour cyclists feel before their race.
I wonder why we feel the need to do pursue these things in this way? What is the attraction of stamina when it comes to our pursuits? Is it a basic need to overcome? Or something more symptomatic than that?
Anyway, if you’re around, i’ll be on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Sts, Melbourne between 1pm and 9pm. Come and hang out with me. Listen with me if you want – i’ll have a ‘guest’ notebook you can record into – and of course I’ll be twittering, probably doing a blog on the day and uploading pics once an hour (on my toilet break). Stay tuned.
** Mike Parr, Todd McMillan, Marley Dawson and Kate Mitchell have all done endurance works that i really admire. And of course Marina Abramovic who is not from Sydney, but is a big influence.
*although i’m still umming and ah-ing about that.