Tuesday, 4 August 2009

'white man's burden' at edinburgh, 19th august

our show will be at edinburgh for one performance only as part of the Critical Incident Edinburgh day of events...
1700-1800, wednesday 19th august
at The Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh
for full programme information and booking:

see also: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111212391924&ref=share

created by mark trezona & martyn duffy
performed by mark trezona with the audience
soundscape by martyn duffy
video artist ~ vivienne harris
photography ~ tanya harris
graphic design ~ sue ridge
‘Preface’ to Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads with a Few Other Poems performed by martyn duffy
Lt Col Tim Collins’ Our Business Now Is North address to his troops performed by vivienne harris
Rudyard Kipling’s The White Man’s Burden performed by jasper harris and rosa harris
Mark Doty’s Citizens performed by mark trezona
Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration Address performed by himself
alchemy aspires to make rich experience out of the ingredients
of live performance & audience memory and imagination.
alchemy tries to make exceptional experience happen
in the space where performance and audience combine.
alchemy is the performance~making wing of
BridgeBuilders STG Ltd., who create learning that aims
to help build a world of happier people who thrive on change
and inspire the people around them.
Programme Notes from Critical Incident Brighton 2009
Yoko Ono’s 1965 action Cut Piece, in which she sat motionless on the stage after inviting the audience to come up and cut away her clothing, inspires this performance.
Our performance began as a protest against the collusion and lack of responsibility for the damage and destruction that continues to be perpetuated by white men in suits. Two hundred years ago William Wordsworth wrote his fears of a new urban, industrial society's mass media and mass culture threatening to blunt the human mind's "discriminatory powers" and to "reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor”. And look at us now…But our ‘white man in a suit’ must also bear our own culpability:the ‘suit’ we are giving to the audience to cut is a presence caught inside the tensions of our time, between the generalised certainties of what our media and our own biases might have us believe and the more complex ambiguous personal realities of individual men, their intentions and their actions. For this reason we have set our re-imagining of Ono’s original performance standing, rather than sitting, and inside a soundscape of alpha-male voices: ~Barack Obama stepping up to the Presidency, ~the newly resigned Speaker of the House of Commons, ~bankers and Lords passing blame back and forth, ~Rudyard Kipling and Lt Col Tim Collins’ rallying calls to duty, ~ Mark Doty, a gay poet trying to live well through road rage in New York city. These voices have been chosen for their contemporary immediacy and contradictions: hope and catastrophe, new possibility and irredeemable ruin, wonder and terror.

What began with identity has become all about burden: the onerous burden on Barack Obama’s shoulders of all that responsibility and all our hopes, cut through with the loaded expectation to ‘stand up and be a man’; the weight of ‘America’ in our lives and of Doty’s held rage, cut through with the burdens of citizenship and the civil responsibilitywe all bear and the media bears as a public service; the oppressiveness / oppression of western male domination, still deadly in his smart 21st century suit of apparent liberalism,still owning and wielding and maintaining power, cut through with recognition that surface appearances must always be deceptive, and individual men can want and do good things.

To all of this -and all the other things a man in a suit can mean - we offer to the audience to cut.And it is their coming up on the stage that makes the performance itself, and determines how much this is a show of destruction and/or creation.In this performance we are asking: what happens when we offer a man in a suit to an audience to cut? The answers are up to the people in the room on the day...
brighton, 19th may 2009

5 ***** review of this performance from Chris Hislop, fringe review


a huge thank you to our very creative audience for making this show with us such an exceptional experience.

we're looking for a way to make the show in london now - watch this space as they say...

footage of yoko ono's original 'cut piece' in a video presentation of her work

1 comment:

Ray Richards said...

Mark - I was in the audience last year in Brighton and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, particularly the discussion afterwards.

I want to recommend this to someone and would like to point them in the direction of a video - is there one on the web somewhere?