BETWEEN THE EYES EVIL SHAVED
Incorporating collaborative performances by KEVIN HENDERSON and JULIE HENDERSON
and the performance FIVE ROOMS AND ONE EMPTY SPACE by KEVIN HENDERSON
A 32 page catalogue was produced with texts by Chris Chapman, Kevin Henderson,
Julie Henderson, Alan Woods.
During February, March and April, Scottish artist, writer and lecturer Kevin Henderson was artist-in-residence at the EAF and the South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia. At the EAF he presented an installation work incorporating photography and video; a solo performance work; and developed with Adelaide-based artist Julie Henderson a series of durational performance works that occured in the gallery space over six days. The installation within the gallery changed as a result of the artists' activities, and audio and video documentation was incorporated into the installation.
The performative aspects of the project (evident in the installation elements as well as via the performance works) generated a lot of interest. Visitors spent long periods of time in the space, as Kevin and Julie presented actions that were variously apparent as 'performed' activities. That is, it was not always obvious that the artists were performing in the space, and improvised and relatively open relationships were established between the artists and the audiences. During the six days of performance the space itself appeared as a set for a more 'conventional' narrative performance, and as an installation work within which objects and elements were shifted and added.
It was at the EAF's suggestion that Kevin work collaboratively, he suggested that a series of performances could be developed, so we invited Julie to work with him. Kevin and Julie corresponded via email from late in 1999, and had only a few weeks to develop a series of collaborative performance works when they met in mid-February.
The project foregrounded elements of process - the elements of Kevin's original installation directly related to some kind of human action that had occured, or would occur. The schematic outline of a corridor in yellow gaffer-tape on the gallery floor, for instance, was a schematic diagrammatic aspect of his original installation, it was employed by Kevin during his solo performance, and subsequently used by both Kevin and Julie as a framework for subsequent collaborative performances. A process of layering occured at many levels including:
the acclumulation of objects in the space (tables & chairs, the coffee cups, water bottles & lunch wrappers used by the artists);
the playback of digital video recordings of video projection in the space;
the overlapping playback from two portable cd players (used by the artists in performance) of conversations between the artists;
the layering of performed actions within various structural frameworks, each day, and over the course of six days.
The performed actions themselves could be read in a variety of ways. The frameworks and structures within which the artists placed themselves suggested, on occassion, domestic, public or social spaces and situations. The artists' actions were variously structured by physical spaces, or they established systems that involved exhibition visitors (particularly for 'G. - a reading', and 'G.H. - a reading', where visitors were invited to read passages from, or listen to passages being read from novels by John Berger and Clarice Lispector).
There was a degree of risk involved in the project in that the precise nature of the outcomes of the collaborative aspect were unknown to all parties involved, until they actually occured. Kevin's presentation of his work and his willingness to undertake a residency, and Julie's involvement in the collaborative aspect of the project have produced a range of effects. Among these is the opportunity to think through possibilities for the presentation and development of multimedia, performative and time-based art practices. Many thanks to both artists.
Kevin Henderson was assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Visual Arts Craft Fund of the Australia Council, Telstra Adelaide Festival 2000, City of Adelaide, South Australian School of Art of the University of South Australia, School of Fine Art Research, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, and the Scottish Arts Council. Julie Henderson was assisted by the South Australian Government through Arts SA.
above: documentation from the
'FIVE ROOMS AND ONE EMPTY SPACE' and the exhibition(2)
'BETWEEN THE EYES EVIL SHAVED'
|images 1 & 2: Kevin Henderson||Documentation Photography|
by Christopher Chapman
EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2000