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"Water Table Performance Bergen"

Connolly, Robert Brian (2014) "Water Table Performance Bergen". Bergen Former Prison, (Now a Prison Museum) [Performance]

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URL: http://www.performanceartbergen.no/prosjekter/bergen-internasjonale-performancefestival-2014

Abstract

Water Table Performance Bergen as part of The Bergen International Festival of Performance Art, 2014. Former Bergen Prison.On arrival in the former Prison context in Bergen I surveyed building and it’s context and eventually decided to perform in one of the small exercise yards on the outside of the Prison. These spaces are small wedge shaped yards with high walls no doubt used to separate the former inmates. The yards were designed like ‘panopticones’, fanning out and away from the main building and viewable from one spot, a 1st floor gantry on the outside of the main prison building. When in one of these yards the only view one would see was of the prison building, surrounding buildings; only walls and the sky. There was no horizon and one felt very contained and enclosed. I suspect that this was the main idea! There were fading murals on some of the surrounding walls and these were cartoon like, rudimentary depictions of nature, i.e. flying birds, flowers, etc… These basic images would only serve to remind a prisoner of the landscape and their current lack of ‘vista’, but would in no way provide any relief or enable escape from the confined reality. A number of small trees had erupted through the stone paving and the yards were rather surreal or dreamlike contexts as a result. These factors all accentuated the strange quality of the location.I decided to use two adjacent yard spaces within my performance work. I installed a table, wood, clamps and other materials in one of the spaces and left the second space empty. I employed a similar strategy as previous ‘Water Table’ Performances, but in this occasion I had created A4 prints of the contemporary Oil & Gas Industry & Fracking Protests, as well as images of Rivers with Oil & Gas Company Logos superimposed to lay on top of the river images.During the performance I slowly raised the table by clamping lengths of wood onto each of the table legs, in turn. Over time raising the table up to about three meters height. A silver ball, on a silver platter, rolled round on top of the table accentuating the instability of the table as it was shifted back and forth, off it’s normal axis.As the table rose the shorter wooden batons were replaced by longer ones. The removed batons were placed around the walls of the adjacent yard space. The A4 print images were positioned in relation to each baton. They were either propped against the walls or under them forming a kind of man made addition to the emerging nature.My intention, and the main theme within the artwork is the danger that the Shale Gas and the Oil & Gas Industry represents for the Environment, particularly for water. The term ‘Water Table’ has two meanings in English, in this case it refers to the actual table in the performance and also to the ‘water table’, or level of ground water, under our feet. We often forget how much we humans, and all life, relies on pure, clean water. If forgotten and neglected it may quickly become polluted under our noses and behind our backs.

Item Type:Performance
Keywords:Water Table Performance, Brian Connolly, Performance Art, Performance Artists, Anti Fracking Artworks, Ecological Artwork, Environmental Artwork, Artworks in former prison contexts, Bergen International Festival of Performance Art,
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Space and Place
Art and Design Research Institute
Date:26 April 2014
Location:Bergen Former Prison, (Now a Prison Museum)
Events:
Event titleEvent locationEvent start dateEvent end dateDurationDescriptionMedia of outputEvent publisherEvent URLProps or artefacts, costumesChoreography/actionScript or supporting narrative or soundPost-performance evidence or display
Bergen International Performance Festival 2014Bergen former Prison, Bergin City Centre, Norway.26 April 201427 April 2014Performance lasted approximately 4.5 hours.Performance Art Bergen is an Annual Performance Art Festival with invited international performance artists. It is organised by Performance Art Bergen and curated by Kurt Johannessen and other members of PAB. This festival occurred in a former prison now a museum building/listed building in the centre of Bergen. As part of the 2014 festival I presented a durational performance entitled: 'Water Table Performance Bergen' I decided to use two adjacent yard spaces within my performance work. I installed a table, wood, clamps and other materials in one of the spaces and left the second space empty. I employed a similar strategy as previous ‘Water Table’ Performances, but in this occasion I had created A4 prints of the contemporary Oil & Gas Industry & Fracking Protests, as well as images of Rivers with Oil & Gas Company Logos superimposed to lay on top of the river images. During the performance I slowly raised the table by clamping lengths of wood onto each of the table legs, in turn. Over time raising the table up to about three meters height. A silver ball, on a silver platter, rolled round on top of the table accentuating the instability of the table as it was shifted back and forth, off it’s normal axis. As the table rose the shorter wooden batons were replaced by longer ones. The removed batons were placed around the walls of the adjacent yard space. The A4 print images were positioned in relation to each baton. They were either propped against the walls or under them forming a kind of man made addition to the emerging nature. My intention, and the main theme within the artwork is the danger that the Shale Gas and the Oil & Gas Industry represents for the Environment, particularly for water. The term ‘Water Table’ has two meanings in English, in this case it refers to the actual table in the performance and also to the ‘water table’, or level of ground water, under our feet. We often forget how much we humans, and all life, relies on pure, clean water. If forgotten and neglected it may quickly become polluted under our noses and behind our backs.Durational Site-specific Performance ArtworkPerformance Art Bergen/The Bergen International Festival of Performance Arthttp://www.performanceartbergen.no/prosjekter/bergen-internasjonale-performancefestival-20141 table, 1 chair, a collection of recycled wooden batons of different lengths, A silver salver and a silver ball, a plumb-line, A4 Prints (as described in the abstract text.), A glass of water, a tree branch fixed into the table top, 8 clamps, a step-ladder.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDhttp://www.performanceartbergen.no/prosjekter/bergen-internasjonale-performancefestival-2014
ID Code:31320
Deposited By: Mr Robert Connolly
Deposited On:04 Apr 2016 01:33
Last Modified:08 Nov 2017 10:28

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