Day 7 – Jo Bannon Residency Friday 13th Culmination

Eva Sifis

Today we met and, in making a sedge way between talking and discussion, spoke about penetration and what that means. This is something that has come up throughout this exploration.

There was the intention to make an informal sharing with a limited audience. We wanted to find some way of working it through with specificity, a biographical approach; some way of showing our investment.
We realised that using our creativity to ‘penetrate back’ is not the same as ‘being penetrated’ and that we did not directly react to the concept.

How then, did we actualise those ideas?
How we get penetrated and how we penetrate back.

We rolled up our sleeves, assumed our various starting positions and began the stopwatch. 10 minutes recollection of yesterday’s improvisational work.

Entering midway through the piece and staying low to the ground, I pushed, tossed and coaxed a shiny, empty ‘pig-bag’ from 10L spring water consumed, allowing where it fell to lead my choice in direction. Either picking it up or bending my head to the ground, I held my lips to the aperture whilst pressing the opening lever so I could breathe 2 breaths into the flaccid bag.
As I had spent 2 days running through the action, each airborne opportunity became a little shorter, the descent more rapid. When pushing the bag I realised it didn’t skim across the surface of the floor quite as rapidly any more.
It was becoming filled with breath condensation and though I emptied it as best as possible, the ease and freedom of said pig-bag was curtailed.

Here is another chance for metaphor. I will come to this later.

Meanwhile some telling quotes from our run through –
Jo “When she stops, could you come over and breathe on Kirsty”
Lorcan “How many times do you breathe on me”
Jo “How to see, how to feel with your whole body.” (presence of other performers)

You may be able to see the threads running through our offering.

We headed up the stairs of our base this past week, the Minor Works in the city. Upon entry to the performance space we were surprised to see it had been transformed into a studio for recording.
The discussions before, the actual performance and interview with the participant artists afterward were to be made in to a short film for Channel 44.
A semi – circle of chairs describing an arc in front of the cameras indicative of the audience, we welcomed them as they dribbled up the steps and through to the screened and carpeted space.

Gaelle Mellis from Access2Arts, the instigators and producers of this opportunity, interviewed Jo Bannon. A sign interpreter was placed between them. They spoke about the interrelationship of arts and disability and how therein lies the opportunity for disabled people to tell their own stories.
Our process was touched upon with the insight of how talking amongst ourselves informed our ensuing improvisations. Generative responses unravelled throughout the development and inspired what we showed to the collected audience.

To close the day after the performance, we were asked how the week spent together would inform our further practise.

Here I take the chance to expand on the metaphor mentioned earlier –

This residency has been a journey for everyone involved however all I can do is speak for myself.
I entered on Day 1, full of excitement and curiosity. Over the course of the seven days I was penetrated, triggered and confronted. Being in close proximity to 10 other Creatives as we challenged a many-layered concept has exhausted me. I am wrung out. I can already see how the import of what I have experienced will be filtering through gradually over the days and weeks to come. Now filled to overflowing with condensed exposition, I look forward to seeing how the impact of this opportunity will translate in to my future projects.

A bit of a view into our process – As each day drew to a close everyone participated in an action first instigated by Lorcan that increasingly became a release appreciated by all.
Huddling in a tight circle, wheelchairs between, arms flung about one another’s shoulders and, counting to three loudly, would exclaim our catch cry of the residency –


in deed…