FIGHT OR FLIGHT
A part of BIFPA 2019 (Belfast International Festival of Performance Art)
“FIGHT OR FLIGHT” is an examination of female-specific trauma through meditative and ritualistic performative strategy. Drawing upon primal energy that dwells within the rawness of the materials consulted, the focus of the piece is to demonstrate the transformative nature of things and the processes involved. The work aims to promote ideas surrounding feminist theory that acknowledge the posthuman, the idea of self-governance, and the power within the act of choice coming into play, raising important questions of how the future can be shaped for women through the transcendence of the female body and its imposed conventions. In the reconfiguration of the self and the acknowledgement of other women, the opportunity for shaping the future arises, the emphasis upon mutual support is a way to navigate through current social perceptions lies at the root of the performance.
The work begins with the artists seated at opposite corners of a large sheet, in front of them each a pile of smaller, crumpled, and red-clay-stained pieces of paper. From these piles a page is carefully selected, unfolded, and inspected before it is pinned to the individual’s clothing. The pins are held within a stained woven organ-like sculpture which each performer in turn attaches to their middle, slowly pulling it around the circumference of the large sheet as they take part in an exchange of support and facilitation. A piece of paper is selected by the person still seated and is handed upward and pinned onto their body by the other performer. The cycle repeats until both are covered in pieces of paper, their bodies armoured and empowered through acts of consideration and choice. The performance concludes with one artist pinning the organ to their stomach whilst the other holds it; both stand with their eyes shut in contemplation of their connectivity with each other as well as other women both present and past.