A Walk with Jane Austen, performance video (20 minutes) Installation, Solihull, 2000
A live work performed as a historical tour for an audience at Blossomfield House, Soihull. Humorously masquerading as Jane Austen but with a whitened clown face, the walk and talk tour of the landscape and gardens featured a race through Austen’s novels as well as dialogues about gender, control and ownership. A pastiche and a parody, additional material included Mallarmé, clowns and the blank page.
Mallarmé’s performer, the clown, is a go-between, s/he imitates and presents an ambivalent contradiction of presence and absence, simultaneously between desire and fulfilment, anticipation and recall. S/he is a liminal figure capable of metamorphosis, and her mime re-creates from debris and fragments, narratives and traces, creating a phantasmic now, that joins past and present.
Engaging audiences in the malleability of history, the performance was a pastiche, with a grand finale of writing on and standing statue-like on a plinth. The live performance was then used to make time-based performance video work. It was layered with a fractured and repetitive sound track based on one Phillip Glass phrase, and multiple recordings of live action. This was installed at Soilhull Gallery in 2000 as an installation that reflected repetitive multiple time frames of time, action and place.
The film was available and hosted online for many years at DVBLOG and is available on DVD at the Live Art Development Agency in London.
To read review on DVBlog: http://dvblog.org/?p=8598
View other work that uses masquerade or performance texts.