The first Between presents work by Hayley Newman and Patricia Baga. Newman’s Facing takes place while Gallery 3 is filled with crates, tools, paint and wood. The incoming and outgoing exhibitions share the same space for one night only. Held in transition, these objects become the set for a performance with many faces. Together we look to, from, between and at each other: a wink, a twitch, a frown and a smile.
Patricia Baga will present Pedestrian Mysticism a new improvisatory work that uses video projection as a set, a prop and a character. The artist takes on the roles of director, screenwriter, editor, actor and location scout in her ‘performative screenings’. Based in New York, Baga has exhibited and performed internationally including exhibitions and performances at LAXART, Los Angeles, Vilma Gold, London, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain and at PS1 New York.
Between is curated by Louise Adkins, associate curated by The International3 in partnership with MIRIAD
“Trisha Baga, an artist whose work blurs the line between video and performance. Interested in the inherent qualities and meanings of ordinary objects and occurrences, Baga uses performance to open up a phenomenological space for facing the “common things” that surround us—chance compositions created by objects in her bedroom, an image of a dog on her computer’s desktop, Madonna’s celebrity, the light from a video projector refracting off a disco ball. Her work foregrounds distraction as a methodology, using the logic of the web and hyperlinks to unite the phenomena she encounters. In her art, Baga browses, discovering without seeking, relying on accident, intuition and technological processes to chart her course.
Baga pursues an improvisational approach to cinema as she explores the relationship of the body and the screen. Using video projection as a set, a prop and a character, Baga takes on the roles of director, screenwriter, editor, actor and location scout in real time. In a circular chain of events, her open-ended videos—tailored and refreshed for each presentation—drive her performance, while Baga directs the video from her laptop.
Baga will place her video works—along with photos, raw footage, performance elements and super-8 home movies shot by her parents—in screensaver software that will randomly select clips to screen. Interested in the screensaver as a device for creating narrative and generating the appearance of order, Baga will allow the software to curate her presentation. Taking her cues from the projected images, she will respond through performance and dialogue. Presented in random order, Baga’s works and interests will be freed from traditional metrics such as chronology or medium, foregrounding emergent properties and the unexpected.”
At the ‘Cornerhouse ’ event Baga performed her captivating and exciting ‘Pedestrian Mysticism’ which involved basic props such as Rollerblades, cardboard boxes, white overalls, a white cap with an inbuilt torch and a mac-book. Her mac acts as the main focus of the performance and she uses software that selects at random clips and text to pop up on her desktop giving her work a spontaneous, cause and effect style as she reacts to the visuals. The work’s focus seems to be the circulation of images on the Internet, fame and the relevance of famous icons in history and she centres these themes around her mute characters obsessions with Madonna. The audio layers over the visuals of a performing Madonna, subtitles detailing the evolution of mankind and other random information with equally random videos of people in cow costumes and Baga herself performing to a camera. She uses a live link up to the web cam on her mac to create layers of her own image and she moves as though a video is infact live. Despite the random nature of the performance it all made perfect sense as the viewer is forced to make relationships between each random element that links back to the theme of Madonna. The work was new and different ro anything that I have seen and so undertstated and ‘cool’ that she made it look easy as the aduio built and built you find yourself lost in her image obssessed world.
A work that could be enjoyed by anybody and really thought provoking.
Hayley Newman practise revolves around performance, producing live events, film, video and photography. “Newman is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores performance, authenticity and subjectivity. She uses video, photography and text to document a range of quirky and often humorous performances that may or may not have taken place.”http://184.108.40.206/ccwgf/node/25
I attended this event on 30.03.12 at the ‘Cornerhouse’ and found it incredibly thought provoking and enjoyed both performances by these amazingly talented women Newman and Baga. Hayley Newman is an established performance artist well known and very successful in her field and an inspiration. Her approach to performance is bold yet considered and I find how she documents her work in the form of text and photography interesting and I would like to apply documentation to my own practise. Her performance ‘Facing’ at the ‘Cornerhouse’ is described in the programme as being ” filled with crates, tools, paint and wood, held in transistion these objects become the set for a performance with many faces. The audience is encouraged to look to, from, between and at each other; a wink, a twitch, a frown and a smile”
I have had many thoughts about the work whilst watching and afterwards and I am still pondering it now. I enjoyed the animated quality to the facial expressions and how humour was inserted into the surreal action of placing dishcloths decorated in sequins to look like faces over the face and body but did feel as though I wanted more. Perhaps this is because I enjoy work that is slightly jarring and involves video and audio elements and to some extent you could say that this performance was stripped down to only expression yet in hindsight i think is a good thing….do you see what I mean when I say i am still pondering. You could say that the performance was simple in concept yet it captivated the audience and clearly conveyed the themes which Newman described as the relationships linked to materials in terms of the body, were the clothes are made and who by but also female labour and housekeeping. I find Newman’s back catalogue of work at times quite shocking and rebellious and this performance seemed different as though a more sensitive approach to topic that obviously meant so much to her.