Borders and Fragmented Identities

My show for the Fragmented Identities exhibition opening in Borders Festival was moved from the Venice Art House to the Ca’ Zanarde at the last minute. The space at Ca’ Zanarde in the gold room upstairs, is much more opulent in style than the minimalistic Venice Art House, and I appreciated performing in it. I had in fact almost lost the will to perform as we had been waiting for hours, had to move from one venue to the other with the considerable suitcase in the piercing heat, and had the disheartening impression that the It’s Liquid organisers, at least those in charge, were not very organised, and nor did they seem to care about the consequences for the artists involved.

Dancing, captured by Glynis Ackermann

I am grateful that Steve encouraged me to go ahead anyway, because I would feel better for it, and I did. There was a very small audience by the time I performed at about 10:30pm, only four hours after the scheduled time. Back at Venice Art House we had been given the choice of remaining at that venue where there was hardly an audience, or walking to Ca’ Zanarde where there was one… but these two venues both had performances scheduled, and Ca’ Zanarde was running late too, so we ended up with very late slots by which time most people had either left, or were just drinking outside rather than watching shows. It was a loyal few that supported each other in solidarity at the end, and they were just enough for me to interact with in the piece.

It was a very different experience with It’s Liquid in April, when I spoke with both Luca Curci and Andrea Chinellati who run it, and was given the chance to rehearse in the space the day before. This time just Luca was there, and we had no communication. There were many more acts and I think the plan for the evening was over-ambitious. Overall I enjoyed my time in Venice and am grateful for the opportunities. Steve recorded my show which is very valuable for me to learn from. For these Venetian performances I created new 20 minute shows and it proves a new discipline. There were lessons in simplification, minimising the importance of language in the show, and reducing the bulk to carry. My previous blog post describes this show in more detail, as I was preparing it.

Here it is!

And here is a lovely shot of some of the sweet folk who stayed with us till the end on the evening of Thursday 4th August.

We are wearing the costumes of artist Alexandra Holownia who was the final performer of the evening. She is 2nd from the left, Steve is in the middle, and Glynis Ackermann is on my right.

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