Process

March 2014

Digging through the dirt of one’s own history requires work. Processing and reviewing past memories and experiences takes time.  Dirty History is a sensual representation of a sexual memory through ritual, soil, & time. On a bed of compost, I slowly perform a ritual. This ritualized movement is part-recollection of and part-penance for a very specific past memory. For my teenage self, it was a sexual rite of passage, a process, a new growth; it was also dirtying, hidden, raw, and secret.

Dirty History has been privately shared twice since the initial concept in a small university studio space. Each of these private views were “come and go” style observations as I was testing different longer durations of the work. Dirty History is very much in-development, a work-in-process. In keeping with my current performative interests, I’m encouraging myself to pursue different variations of the work, e.g. an outdoor site-specific variation without lighting or sound has been proposed.

(The photographs below were taken during the aforementioned private views on 17th & 25th March 2014.)

May 2014

An intimate “staged” variation was shared with the public at the Marlborough Theatre for Brighton Fringe 2014. It was part of a University of Brighton MA Performance and Visual Practices group show with fellow artists Kate McCoy, Jennie Howell, & Katy Pendlebury.

(The photographs below were taken during that performance on 20th May 2014.)

August 2014

Recently, the work has started to spread out from that initial memory. Through poetry, both live & prerecorded, I am introducing a sampling of recalled (markedly queer) intimacies and sexual memories. I’m revisiting Dirty History for the final degree show of my MA. I envision the performance to include both movement & text, and the compost installation to be quite expansive.

September 2014

Dirty History NoticeNotice for my MA Degree Performances at the Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, Grand Parade

The installation of a 9x10m compost bed in the seating well of the theatre space was dirty, exhausting, and time-consuming.  The effort, however, definitely paid off. From both my own & the audiences’ perspectives, the performance & overall experience benefited from the expansiveness of the soil; there was more than enough material & space for the audience and I to be together in the dirt. The majority of the people who attended the three performances for my MA were more than willing to take off their shoes & socks and enter the compost. It was a great run.  I can’t wait to share Dirty History again in other contexts & spaces. Below are some random shots of load in & out:

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