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Random Play: Deliberately Weak in Language
Piet Zwart Institute May 2012
  The starting charade: the prologue 'deliberately' stamps on flowers while miming the title   Inter Val, the glamour, provides for the Woodsman who keeps rhythm with his mighty chopper Runner beans race The scribe says no The Twisting my Melonman slices a smile The lost Log Lady listen to a squash she's recently dug from her garden The actors watch when done with their part Banananan na brings on her hoop 'O' Oracle in the window above slits her guts by poring a recently brewed coffee down a loo roll. Her 'shout' of timber cues more movement. The aftermath  

For a year I had been a guest student at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, a Fine art MA course with about 20 students. Each semester attendants have a peer critique in which they show a work in development to the rest of the class in a 1.30 hour slot. They have a representative who chairs the conversation that follows on their behalf and a tutor present who normally knows something of their work.

The piece was put together over the space of a week and shamelessly utilised all that was available including people. To be more accurate it was made through thinking about the practices of others on the course. I asked students to take part, by carrying out a gesture I had thought of in relation to their practice. These were done simultaneously, as part of a collective score. It was my intention that everyone discussing the work would be physically involved in some way caring through parts I’d written explicitly for them. It was an attempt to work with out contextual material just from the consideration of my peers student. All that was fixed as a frame work prior was the site for it; the school court yard, a material register; vegetables and fruit and a rough duration of 10 minuets (a standard for crits. to maximize talk time).

The work was conceived in the aftermath of a three day workshop I’d set up which had caused some debate regarding collaboration an enforced co-independence. The confusion of debt became a key question, I was thanked for generosity in setting it up, yet had also asked others to give up their time towards something unquantifiable that fit my research. The group involved were largely divided on who had benefited off the other. This was attempt to reproach this conversation, to demonstrate my position on it and in part to extend my original provocation.

Each participant was given and individual written instruction with their part on. Unless they had to interact with someone else this detailed only the cues they could expect to receive. Each part was written as though it were the lead, with none of them being more significant than the others. The individual instructions where also designed to seed language into the conversation. This was done in an obvious way and in light of how the participants had responded to my crit. the term before in part attempting to extend the dialogue from that.

Among other things its gestures included: The miming of the phrase deliberately weak in language’ played out in a game of charades, a hoop with bananas strapped to it being rolled across the court yard, an arrow (orange in both name and nature) being lowered from an upstairs window, runner beans racing down the front of a building, a man with a melon, a melon with a mouth, someone shaking a squash they’d dug up from the garden, someone axing fruit, someone stamping on strawberries, someone scrawling in chalk on a wall (no yes - oh yes), someone shouting timber, someone throwing a toilet roll, some bananas masquerading as brackets, some bananas masquerading as guns, and a large vat of fruit smoothy as a post performance bonus.
Thinking Big
Random Play
Fiddling with the Faculty (w/ Edward Clive)
Draft 1, 2, & 3 (w/ Jane Frances Dunlop)
Liberate Labour
Triggering Diagram
The Enormous Space

88 Hight Street
Flat 4
CT11 9RX

Fiona James