Misplaced Women? Workshop by Tanja Ostojić, 13th—14th December 2016 at LADA London
I have moved house all my life – I’ve lost track of how many homes I’ve lived in but it’s more than 30 – mostly in the UK, but also Germany and Belgium – so I was really drawn to the idea of returning to London (which I left 2 years ago) to be part of the ‘Misplaced Women?’ workshop. And then, in a lovely moment of coincidence that felt like more than that, Tanja decided to open the workshop with a performance in front of the warehouse that used to home ]performance s p a c e[ who – like me, have also escaped London for Folkestone in Kent.
I took in the other performances with interest – the vulnerability that emptying your bag in public created for some was in stark contrast to the way others used the opportunity as a platform to tell a particular story or explore an idea. I was extremely conscious of our collective role as a mobile audience throughout and began to consider how our behaviour as audience members focused our attention away from our surroundings – even in a busy shopping mall or the rather eerie Olympic park. As we assembled and reassembled for each performance, I kept thinking about the ‘everyday’ nature of the root performance – the simple act of emptying and re-packing your bag. It is the kind of thing that could almost go unnoticed in a crowd…. So I began, slowly, hesitantly (because to be honest I am terrified of the idea of performing) and completely unannounced, to remove each unremarkable object from my bag and arrange them carefully on the bench beside me. Occasionally I looked around at the other participants, but no-one registered what I was doing as a performance, which suited me just fine. I repeated the performance four times in total that day – each iteration slightly more exaggerated than the last and capturing the final one on camera whilst everyone ate lunch around me. I catalogued the items in my bag – nothing had been placed there specially for the workshop but I instinctively wove together a story from the random selection of objects which suddenly seemed to have real personal resonance – as if they had been on a journey with me (further than Folkestone Central to Stratford…).
Please see Cherry Truluck´video-performance
Cherry Truluck is one half of live art and performance design collaboration, Lucky Bert.
Photo & video: Cherry Truluck