I invited dancer and movement educator Elena Molinaro (who runs a brilliant schools project at Oval House Theatre); and recent Goldsmiths grad, the installation and film artist Nastassja Simensky to improvise with me at the Tate using non speech and one prop from our practices.
We marked out two different spaces with gaffa tape for Silent Stays the Bird, a research project contextualised within the Feminist Library’s residency as a Tate Exchange Associate, which continues my explorations into the compelling and often disquieting ‘substance’ of silence.
I find non speech as a Buddhist practitioner, artist and writer multi-faceted. In feminism, broadly, it is associated with oppression. But silence can be dramatic, physical, aggressive, energetic, listless, heavy, shameful, mundane. The silent large scale theatrical dinners and café interventions that I have hosted over the last 5 years reveal that silence is constantly moving, changing, bringing forth the potential for deep listening (coined by Pauline Oliveros) or a mysterious sense of expectancy.
The projects with Elena and Nastassja fuelled different atmospheres. The work was also performative, and we invited people coming into the Tate to join us, and participate in something… and nothing.
The rules were:
non speech for a period of 4 hours a day within the space marked out in the room by gaffa tape
use and share one object that was familiar to us in our practice
an invitation for others to join.
This project is on-going. For more info on the Feminist Library’s activities during the day: