First day of the Chaos project here in Victoria with Open Space. Tonight three artists talks at Camosun College (sp?) — a full room of students and community. The artists Sinead O’Donnell, Pauline Cummins and Sandra Johnston gave engaging talks on their work. The prolonged physical component in Sandra Johnston’s work fascinated me and I discussed it with her in the bar afterwards. Both Sandra and Sinead have made actions where the performance takes place in a public place and sometimes people are not aware a performance is even taking place. There were several slides from actions/performances in Romania that were particularly compelling in this regard. It made me think of performance within documentary. Except the documentary is otherwise undocumented moments in life. There was a hearty discussion at the end about documentation and its interference with performance.
But the extent to which these three artists engage in collaborative processes was extraordinary listening and I can only imagine how extraordinary some of this work was to witness. Also hearing Sandra talk about Belfast still operating with an artist run ethos (artists supporting and encouraging other artists, spaces etc) reminded me of how much has been lost on this coast in that regard.
More from my notes tomorrow.