Looking back on performance

4. tempsLooking back on performance, I just spent the last two days going back over work that I’ve done and especially concentrating on performance pieces. A lot of the work that I have done has been in performance art.

I do not put much about it on this site because I feel that “you really have to be there”.

However over the next few weeks I will try to document as much as I can and share different parts of this thing that I do with you.

It has all been sparked off by some students of mine asking  how do you do performance art? So I am trying to show them ways to do “performance art”.

The short answer? There is no way to do performance art. It is really just a way of doing things, a gesture and sometimes needing the public there as a witness. It is mediocrity and anti technique. And it is the opposite. It is anything and/ but it escapes definition.

The only things that seem to be constant are space and time. You could add in gravity and human beings as well. But I’m sure there are ways of doing performance art with animals (cf. Laurie Anderson’s Music for Dogs) and maybe, performance art only exists in this multiverse.

Or maybe all of us are doing performances in this reality.Here is me performing as an artist in my workspace.

Macdara Smith in his workspace. Photo: Thomas Sappe
Macdara Smith in his workspace. Photo: Thomas Sappe

Performance art can be incredibly rewarding both to the people who witness it and those who do it. It can also be a horrible failure because it promises so much. And fails to deliver. That risk is what is at the heart of performance art and its promise of freedom. In dark times! Ha. Ha. Ha.

These are the aspects of performance that are so fascinating. The freedom of it. This approach informs a lot of my other work. And my other work helps when I do performance as well.

So, now you know how to do it- do performance art today!

End of One Thing, Beginning of the Next…

endoftourzarbothEnd of One Thing, Beginning of the Next…

Just arrived home from Zarboth tour. We’ve been touring over the past couple of months, going on the road for three or four days at a time.

Maybe in another post I’ll go into some of the adventures we’ve had, but tonight I am tired. So tired… but happy.

I have a bit of an accent when I speak French so people often ask me where I come from and I usually tell them “Limoges.” This is my idea of a joke and usually no one believes me when I say I am from this French town.

Poetic Justice

Limoges has always seemed to be a rather sleepy provincial town to me. So it was great to have all my preconceived notions blown away by playing the last date of our tour in Limoges. Also lots of people from Limoges helped us with this video.

The concert was great, we played in the El Doggo, for the Festival Pop Sur La Ville- it was great to see friends who had come to see us, some from the earliest parts of the tour.

And in Limoges whenever I said I was from Limoges nobody mentioned my accent. So there! A lot of great friendly people and unfortunately we had to leave quickly… But I can’t wait to go back!

Christmas and Music

Two out of three members of Zarboth hate Christmas so if you have any other members of your family or friends who hate Christmas don’t hesitate to get the album.

Unfortunately we also ran out of CDs and vinyl records when we were on the road.

You can find them all here.

That is the album that I am on of course.

And if Zarboth is not your cup of tea maybe you could try Onze Onze ?

Have a good week! And remember keep on making things!

 

 

One Year On, There’s No Devils at All, it’s Just the System

One Year On, There’s No Devils at All, it’s Just the System

One year on, there’s no devils at all it’s just the system… sad to say or happy in the knowledge that maybe there is nothing to change. Maybe the only thing you can change is yourself. And even that is difficult. The most difficult.

A voice crying out in the darkness or having a laugh to yourself. Take pleasure in small things. Sometimes being that voice can bring the voice to others. It is so small what I do, a couple of lines scribbled in a notebook, I snatch a passing thought, a half mumbled word, half formed ideas.

It’s not big enough I know. It should perhaps be bigger. The universe is a big place. What is hot air on a microphone?

No answer.

No answer.

Lost Song Video

From Zarboth Lost Song video
From Zarboth Lost Song video- click on image to link to video

Here is a video made with help from a lot of people (with the help of the audio visual school Lycée Marise Bastié Formation AVN 87 and the association Toutazimut, of Constance Social Club, of the association Émile a une vache and of Télé Millevaches, and with a lot of help from the village of Faux-la-Montagne (Fake the Mountain in English)). All of the people who helped with this video can be found in the information under the video on youtube.

It was a great experience for all of us and I really enjoyed it. I did the storyboard and you can see some of it below. As a result I found myself in the director’s chair and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Well, actually, enjoyment is not really the correct word.

storyboard page 1photo-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a pretty intense experience, I think they will make a “making of” film but I don’t know if it will be on the web or in the real world… But when you think of all the work for a modest little film… the mind boggles.

End of Tour de France

So Zarboth are going on their final leg of their tour of France on Wednesday.

You can see where they are playing here

If you like this video, please don’t hesitate to share it or email it. We are completely independent, underground artists here. Algorithms are holding us back…

Other news to follow…

I will speak about La France in a later post.

Keep on keeping on.