Works

Purgation with Noemi Lakmaier

At Steakhouse Live: Tender Loin, London July 2017

purgination

An act of devotion and trust.  Love and betrayal. Indoctrination.

I kneel before a tank of water.  She comes beside me and strokes my hair gently.  Then, without warning, pushes my head underwater for duration before violently pulling my head up.

I gasp for air and she allows me this for a few seconds before forcing me under again. My head pounds and hearing muted but my body remains calm.  She pulls my head out more gently this time.  Allows me to recover before pushing me under once again.

The process continues until she judges that it is enough.  She leaves, and in time, I gather myself and leave the space as well.

Materials Used – Water

Duration 15 minutes

In the Future, the Past will be remembered in Fragmented Ways

Marathon Final Performance – Berlin June 2017

 

Photo Credits to 高远天  & Ruth Biene

As the audience enters I kneel onto the salt square in front of me and place a bandage into my mouth.

Wine and glasses are also in front of me, water and cloths are behind.  Finally, a mirror is placed on the far wall.

The audience has the choice of what happens now.

Over the duration, I am subjected to many emotional responses and demands.  I acquiesce to them all.

Wine is delicately given to me, toasts are made. I’m asked by one man if I trust him and he passes the wine from his mouth to mine.

During one of these moments, I’m patted on the head like a dog and the mood changes. Someone forces me to try to drink a whole bottle of wine whilst never making eye contact.

I could choose to end this, the audience to choose to stop, but it continues until all the wine has gone.

I push myself back, my legs have gone numb from kneeling from so long.  I’m stained by the wine. As I pass the bowls of water people come forward and start to wash the marks off me, to help me straighten my contorted legs.

When I have the strength, I stand and look at myself in the mirror.  I take the mirror down and shine it at the audience.

Finally, I reveal to a close few that I had a pearl held in my mouth for the whole time.

Materials Used – Salt, Wine, Bandages, Towels, Water, Mirror, Pearl.

Duration 2 hrs

Consumption

UnShut Festival – Sheffield May 2017

 

Sitting amongst newspapers with current political reports.

I have a book in front of me containing many quotes,  copied and personal, emotive and ridiculous.

As drone and politicians campaigning are played a repeated at varying volumes over the speakers I copy the quotes onto fresh sheets of paper.  I then read aloud what I’ve written.  I try to make my voice heard above the repetitious din.

Voice is drowned out, words are duplicated and made meaningless.  Authenticity becomes a vapid slogan.

I fold the sheets I have written into origami envelopes and stack them in front of me.

The audience comes closer so they can hear me easier.  So they can unfold my envelopes and examine if what I have said is actually what I have written.  To regain trust?

I no longer need to shout.  I start to read to individuals quietly.

As the drone nears the end I fold the last letter and eat it.

I drop a lit match onto the stack of envelopes I have made and they burn away without a trace.

Materials Used – Drone, Paper, Voice, Forest Scent Spray, Fire

Vena Cava

LOW STAKES – A Micro Festival, London February 2017

 

 

A ritual, a cycle.  Creation – Destruction – Resurrection.

Intestines on a slate are carried into the space.  I lay the objects on my stomach and stand.  The balance of the slate and my position makes the action hard, but I succeed.  I lay again and add more

I lay again and add more slates.

The balance becomes even more precarious, the weight harder to hold above my head.  I repeatedly add more slates.  Repeating the motion of stating time and time again.  My breathing is laboured in the silence.

Eventually, I can no longer maintain the strength and skill needed to lift the objects anymore.  They fall around me and shatter.  I destroy the rest of them with a pestle.

I make a zen circle with the shards.  I hold the intestines close to me and leave the space.

Materials Used – Slates, Cows Intestines, Pestle

Duration 30 Minutes

 

Break My Bones with Jordan Mckenzie

At Steakhouse Live: Tender Loin, London January 2017

 

 

Image credit to Greg Viet

Description from Jordan Mckenzie –

Break My Bones is a durational performance that tests the limits of authority and our compliance within it as well as representations of masculinity. In an empty space the performer stands undressed and to attention,  visited by an aggressive figure of authority who enters the space (unannounced) and verbally abuses him, coming up close to his face, spitting at him, ridiculing his physique and the way he looks.
The authority figure attempts to goad and break the performer, challenging him to lose his control and self-discipline and succumb to the violent assault. In this sense it becomes a dangerous game of abuse but also one of compliance and resistance.
The title is taken from the saying ‘Sticks and stones’ and looks at how words do actually break bones, the violence that is done to ‘othered’ bodies in this age of neo-loberalism, Trump and the swing to the right. On the one hand these figures spreading hate are completely farcical and cartoonish, Trump, Farage, Johnson etc but they also have the power to affect our lives in real and terrible ways. For this reason the ‘abuser’ will also have a large pair of foam hands on so that the gesticulation and insults are at turns comical, absurd, exaggerated and frightening….
Duration 15 Minutes

Reconciliation

At Modern Panic 7, London October 2016

 

 

I place myself amongst the materials in a meditative position.

The objects are of labour and of nature.  They are covered in ash and charcoal.

I contort my body against each object, in turn, I let it define its shape against my skin. I wear these marks to show my place in the world between nature and consumerism. Between creative energy and multiplication tasks.

As the dusty mixture blackens me I return to my original position.  To contemplate which of the marks define me.

Materials Used – Wood, Nails, Steel Hanger, Bricks, Pebbles, Ash and Charcoal

Duration 15 Minutes

Invasion of the Bodyslammers 6 with Tarnya Allen

At Extreme World Wrestling, Hastings Centre October 2016

 

 

Adaptation

At Modern Panic 7, London October 2016

 

 

 

The Good, The Red & The Ugly with Stu Allen

At Extreme World Wrestling, Hastings Centre July 2016

 

 

Echoes

At Tempting Failure 2016: Brixton, London July 2016

 

 

Final image credit to Julia Bauer.

I kneel and a black rope attaches from my neck to the ice.  I caress the ice with my hands, the light makes it appear that it is moving.

I try to sit back onto my heels and the rope cuts into my muscles and into the ice.  The pressure and exertion mean that I can’t feel the cold.

Through slow increments, I manage to rise.  The rope continues to work its way into my flesh and into the block.  Both materials having to adapt to the gravity.

Steam rises from the sweat of my body and the ice from its evaporation.

As I try to take deep breaths and steady myself I start to cry.  I kneel and place my face against the ice.  My tears falling into the water on the floor.

I gather myself and will myself to rise again.

Materials Used – 30kg Ice Block, Rope

Duration 30 Minutes

 

Adaptation

At //BUZZCUT// on tour: Let England Shake, May 2016

 

 

Images by http://www.joetwiggphotography.com/

I kneel amongst various bricks and rocks.  Debris from a building site and rocks from forests near to me.  Materials both man-made and natural for my body to adapt to.

I handle the pieces in different ways, I console and crush.  I display strength and submissiveness.

I resist.  I adapt.

I stack the rocks and then I lay on them.  I try to rest, to appear peaceful, my twitching muscles betray me.  Despite the peace in my expression, my body is in rebellion.

As the pain becomes too much I rise and the indentations of the materials are plain to see.

My flesh has adapted for the present but the marks will fade.

The memories will remain.

Materials Used – Rocks and Concrete

Duration 90 Minutes

Monument

At Modern Panic 6, London October 2015

 

 

The audience enters and I am already engaged in a deep breathing practice, readying myself for the efforts ahead.

I hold a handstand over the top of plain white paper for as long as I am able.  I arrange my legs so I assume a postion similar to the Hanged Man card from the Tarot.

When I can hold the position no longer I remove a needle from my forehead.  When my muscles are able, I return to the handstand again.

This repetition continues until there are no more peircings in my head.  I then acknowledge the audience slowly and all in turn whilst eating a piece of paper where the blood has collected.

I take my corporeal efforts back into myself.

Acceptance and erasure.

Materials Used – Paper, Needles

Duration 20 Minutes

 

Humility and Reason

At Modern Panic V. London, 2014

 

 

My body heavily trained to be more imposing.  As the audience enters my back is turned to them, is this through self-absorption. shame or guilt?

Mirrors are laid out and a series of movements are played out atop them.  All the time I force myself to observe my reflection.  I then start to tape areas of my body where I have suffered injuries in wrestling.  The taping supports me but also hinders my ability to hold myself correctly in the position above the mirrors.

After each series of the movements, I kneel and remove a needle from my forehead.  My reflection is gradually obscured by my own blood.

In time, I am unable to complete the movements anymore.  I crawl to the corner of the room, my back turned once again.

Materials Used – Needles, Mirrors, Athletic Tape

Duration  20 Minutes

Union with Hellen Burrough

At Tempting Failure, Bristol 2014, Buzzcut, Glasgow 2015 and Submerge Festival, Bristol 2016. Image by Roser Diaz

 

 

An embrace which prevents pain from entering our bodies.  We are joined at the heads and groins by piercings and chains, slowly we part.  Our eyes locked on each other’s countenance.  In time, the chains begin to stretch to their limits and then our flesh then stretches too.

Skin is pulled tight and then finally we start to remove the needles in ritual unison.

Despite the pain and blood, our faces remain impassive.  The ritual must be observed.

When all the needles have been removed, we stare at each other.  Wearing our wounds, born anew.

We gently and slowly walk back to each other.  Locked in each other’s gaze.  As we grow closer, we can hold the gaze no longer and look over each other shoulders and into the lights behind us.  Our bodies touch once more and are joined in a bondage of blood.

The cycle has been completed, the bodies have been changed forever.

Materials Used – Needles, Chains

Duration 30 Minutes

 

 

 

Death is simply a matter of lying prone

At Tempting Failure, Bristol 2013

 

 

A setting of intentions and a display of influences.  A transformation from everyday life, from a wrestler to an aspiring live artist.

The materials used were to question body perception and physicality, how one pursuit of interest can hinder another.  How the need to maintain focus and clarity is key.

The title is a quote from J.G Ballard, and is a personal belief that we must keep moving forward, physically and spiritually.  We must grow as individuals and as a populace, for if we lay still, we grow stagnant and degrade.

Materials Used – Mirrors, Rope, Needles, Suit, MMA Shorts, Metronome

Duration 20 Minutes

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