I am in a hotel, because my house is a bit grose at the minute, and it’s made me ill. I was in hospital and everything. Don’t feel sorry for me. The money I’m saving on rent I intend to spend on interrailing around Italy next year. So, you know. If your priorities are a mess, these are the risks you take.
I wanted to write a little bit about how Spill was for me (Oh noooooo, a serious, kind of, blog, with opinions, and everything) – because it was really wonderful for me as a person, and doing that piece made me think a lot about fat and dieting, and Chewing the Fat, which I’m doing some R&D on at the minute.
Good God, there is loads to talk about, Guys and Dolls, and I wish very much to be succinct.
A list, then:
1) Spill/Travelodge Life/Everyone was nice
I like Ipswich. That’s the first thing. I’m not sure why, but in my head, I thought it was going to be very 80s, very grey, a bit like… hmm. I’m not going to name any town names, so as not to offend, but I thought it was rough, I’m not sure why that was the connotation I had in my head. But it wasn’t, not even a little bit. Picturesque, if anything. And small. And everyone staying in about 3 hotels together felt a little like a school trip. It was a really lovely atmosphere, not a pressure cooker, not pretentious, not hierarchical, or any of the bad things that any curated event can become in the wrong hands. From start to finish everyone was lovely and supportive. And to see so much work, at a time when I felt like all I was doing was applying for things and working, and worrying about money was cleansing. Like an artsy booster shot. That’s all I wanted to say really.
2)Pat it and Prick it and Mark it With B/Jess and Vicky did most of the hard work/More Durational Work as experiments and learning times please
7 hours… and it wasn’t, really, it was more like… 6 and a half, is the longest I’ve ever performed. Which, when you think about it isn’t that long. I’m listening to the soundtrack from The Artist Is Present (have you watched it yet? What do you mean no? Sort your life out) as we speak, so my sonic surroundings are reinforcing that fact. But it was a lot for me. I got to think a lot. About the image and how it worked, and if it worked, and whether all of this was in my head, and perhaps impenetrable for others, and the extent of the help I needed – ridiculous. The piece never would have worked without other people. Which is good, but thought provoking. Hmm. Too many thoughts to type now. Hmm.
I didn’t expect holding the position to hurt as much as it did, but it did hurt, it killed. I couldn’t hold it for as long as I wanted, and I had to stand up, because I was in agony, and I felt embarassed and ashamed and like I’d let everyone down.
It didn’t work. We had to change tactic three times. As we were doing it the first time we knew it wasn’t working, though we appeared to be getting somewhere.. .and then it was desperate, and then it started to come together, but it was painful, and I was immobilised by it, and there was very little I could do.
I don’t like being looked at, if I’m not saying anything. I hate it. It was difficult to look up, once the dress was finished. Pain/Failure.
On the picture on the Spill website at the minute, I look like I’m looking at my phone. Snigger. I’m not. I’m on the front page, sneak a peek: http://www.spillfestival.com/
I really, really, really love watching kids engaging with live art/experimental practice:
“Why’s it all in pink? It should be for boys too”
“Why are there no paper towels?”
“There isn’t enough cake, you didn’t think this through”
These reviews, internet. These are the reviews I need and want.
I want to do that piece again, very, very, very much. I want to embrace and play with the necessity of help and support. I want to confront how difficult I find it to be watched when silent. I want to push the spectacle and the potential garishness of it all, and now that I know that the aesthetic of it all is actually really home made and domestic, I want to change my approach to materials. So much to play with. I wonder if I can shoplift £200 worth of cake and icing from asda. I’ll stuff it up my top, I’m sure it’ll be fine.
3)Ending Chewing The Fat/Embracing the Fat Body/Lush/ShoppingShoppingShopping
– being on a bus or walking somewhere, and thinking that if I take CTF somewhere, it needs an ending point – but what can that ending point be, if I haven’t found it in my life.
– looking at good quality, on trend, of fashion plus size clothes properly. Actually entertaining the idea of ordering clothes from America – sod the price.
– thinking about being 16 and wearing make up always, and cowboy boots, and leather jackets, and shaving my hair off.
– working with 30 women (and about 6 men) – different sizes and shapes and ethnicities and styles and ages and thinking about what an elixir that is for me, and the fact that in me, that stimulates a need to dress well, to look good.
– Re reading FIAF and The Forbidden Body, and going “no. no. no.”
– being bored, really bored by “I need to lose weight” conversations. Because I’ve heard them about a hundred times, and they sound the same always. And being really aware of that boredom and dismissal of that way of talking, and knowing that that feeling isn’t new – it’s just more pronounced, and that guilt is absent from it.
– Something has changed, somewhere. And I’m not sure how or why or when. It’s good for the piece, it’s good for me.