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Current Issue

Volume 2 Issue Four
September 2019
Contents
 
Introduction

Watching a game of tennis or rugby, on screen or from the stands, it can be fascinating to observe the facial expressions, gestures, and team dynamics. The expressions and reactions of the spectators can be just as fascinating. Diagrams left on whiteboards show complex patterns and strategic plans prior to a match; players play rhythmically, with serious or amusing accompanying sounds, with an elegant or clumsy awareness of their movements in their surrounding space. Through the encouragement of competition, fun and conviviality, sport creates conversational stories between individuals and teams, players and spectators. This dialogue might be the unspoken passing of a ball, shouts of instruction, or literally conversation over a net. Conversation itself might feel like a game, bouncing to and fro; or turning the pages of a novel, eyes jumping text, keeping track of narrative leaps. From 1912 to 1948, Olympic Medals were awarded for the arts, a competition that ended due to the amateur-professional controversy (the criteria that Olympic competitors had to be amateur would supposedly not attract the right quality of art). In Ancient Greek mythology, the Muses are presided over by the athletic Apollo, twin with the huntress and archer Artemis, lover of competition. In these figures, sport and the arts appear exchanged and intermingled. 

Issue 4 begins again with two ‘exhibition features’ to encourage conversation with each other and the works which follow, responding to the performance of Filippo Marzocchi, Crouch, Bind, Set (at CCA Andratx, Mallorca, 26 May 2019), and Yelena Popova’s exhibition and performance Townlets and Her Name is Prometheus at The Art House, Wakefield. Both are playful with the concept of game, interweaving sport, performance and art. They variously consider ideas of physics, sound, rehearsal, war and gender. The movements of Crouch, Bind, Set are in constant repetition and cancellation, progressing nowhere even as the sound grows, and the floating sculpture of Her Name is Prometheus is in a continual state of being taken apart and rebuilt. They play with the place of audience; where the spectator should stand, how their involvement might make or alter a work. Should Popova’s floats be carefully avoided, or Marzocchi’s players cheered? In Bill Beckley’s Silent Ping-Pong, the sound is transferred from the table, ball and paddle, and handed to the awaited players. Should that paddle be picked up, and a match be played with these silent, still objects in the centre of a gallery space? It queries the possibility of enacted dialogue between work and spectator.

Rehearsal, practice and technique create an awkward conversation in Andrea Rüthel and Susanna Berivan’s film, using unclear shots of tennis instruction alongside language-learning materials. With pauses, interruptions and repeats, James Whittle and Rachel Fullegar’s composition is reminiscent of rehearsal, its careful staccato and re-contextualised words interrogating the power dynamics of the dialogue between writer, audience and performers as the process of rehearsal is woven into the final performance. Lisa Stansbie’s collage is humorously removed from context; a swim rehearsed on ‘dry land’, taken from a nineteenth-century newspaper, where pairs of straight-faced children form neat lines in opposite directions under the command of a stern-faced Victorian. Catriona McAra converses with Lydia Blakeley’s paintings over snooker, at once ‘nostalgic and de-romanticised’, reflecting on the difficulty of escaping popular culture’s perpetual scrutiny in ungraceful facial expressions that are captured meticulously.  

Jean-Michel Rolland’s birds fight within the fixed shot, flapping and crying, processed to become like paint; an ‘angry crowd’ (Une foule en colère) their goal is the crumbs thrown by passers-by. What happens at the end of the game, how is the fight remembered? Gymnasts in Jo Longhurst’s Other Spaces create a discourse with the space of their movement. Captured in still poses, they suggest an elegant directive flight across and amongst the architecture, alternately in harmony and opposition. Thomas Hutton’s prose poetry likewise unfurls and unravels from within the architecture it creates, ekphrastic sentences uncovering the Boxer at Rest, so that the spectator-readers dig and brush the words, just as the archaeologists it describes.

The issue concludes with a tribute to Lisa Bufano. Through the use of prosthetics, she articulates new forms, her performing body merging and complimenting with props and place. The delicacy and difficulty of these expressive movements both distances and magnetically draws the spectator. 

 
Gertrude Gibbons - Filippo Marzocchi: Crouch, Bind, Set
Marzocchi

Filippo Marzocchi: Crouch, Bind, Set (sound performance)

CCA Andratx, Mallorca, 26 May 2019

Curated by Giovanni Rendina, Music by Daniele Guerrini

 

In one of Helena Almeida’s ‘Inhabited Canvas’ works, a series of photographs show the artist walking from behind the skin of the canvas, out of its wooden supports and into the foreground, before disappearing out of the photograph. She steps out of the empty painting towards the viewer of the photograph, and then appears to step out of that frame too, leaving it vacant. Almeida’s unexplained departure from the final image’s frame signals a disappearance from the work and, by its progressive journey, implies an appearance outside the frame, into the surrounding space and the viewer’s mind. It provokes a game with designated spaces of belonging; as to where the work should stand in relation to the audience and space.

A teasing game between work, audience and space is played by Filippo Marzocchi’s performance Crouch, Bind, Set curated by Giovanni Rendina, 26 May 2019, Mallorca. Using twenty four professional rugby players, manipulating their tactics, in the Kunsthalle gallery space of CCA Andratx, the work considers a movement between designated spaces and roles, places of belonging. I was not able to go to the performance, so I write from the experience of its documentation, a distanced spectator. In the first image I saw, a player had been captured with legs crossed and hands open, such that the oval-shaped ball looked as though it has arrived from, or into, clapping hands. It seemed the player was also a spectator, a participant in a game comprising of several interacting elements. The theatrical gestures, as I then saw them, encouraged a consideration of the elements of performance and sport as performance; of the game or act, the players, and applauding spectators. 

Marzocchi

In a stark, clean gallery space, the idea of a rumbustious game of rugby provides a striking contrast. Yet here there is no mud, no loud cheers. The team is out of place: taken from the field and encapsulated in a sterile grassless space. Interestingly, one of the performance ‘rehearsals’, as Marzocchi termed it, did take place in a field, and the artist took part in the game. The game, heavily associated with established notions of masculinity, and imitating aspects of the battle field, has been translated into the gallery, and its rules become humorous: the scrum pushes first one way and then the other, and no team gains ground. But despite its translation, the sanctity of the gallery space, silence, is broken. Each of the back players has tied to their arm a speaker, playing the sounds of sirens and ammunition. The sound, designed by Daniele Guerrini, in constant movement, echoes through the wide space, exposing its emptiness, bare walls and sculptureless floors. The volume builds, the atmosphere grows more and more aggressive, reaching a tense climax. This harshness is juxtaposed with an emphasis on a possible delicacy, precision, about the game and its structured discipline; the intricate formation of the scrum, its shape carefully checked on either side by Marzocchi and Rendina. It is a play of give and take, the ball passed to and fro with a constant return to start, a repeated negation. The warm-up is integrated into the performance too, suggesting planning and ‘the making of the work’ are completely part of the work. As a performance, its nature is inevitably to vanish; its movement continuing with the audience once they have left. Here sport enables a consideration of spectatorship and applause to become part of the work too, such that the work’s prior planning, present performing and following response are weaved into its performance.

Marzocchi

Which space belongs to whom in the gallery? Where does the audience stand in relation to a work, and where does the artist stand? In a theatre, audience members appear affronted should actors enter their space; a work, an actor, a fictional world, has a belonging, an assigned space of its own. Pictures are framed off, bordered, and tape is drawn around work to create the space for spectator, and space for object. It seems as though the artist stands on one side of the frame holding its secret (a game Almeida plays), and the audience waiting on the other. Here, however, the ‘game’ of explanation, display and spectatorship, appears pushed forward and backward, like the scrum. Because of the rules of the space, the players become moving sculptures, props creating surround sound by their choreographed movements. (The players were excited to ‘perform’ in the gallery context). The space claims the work; the work claims the space. When an artist presents a work, they may do so in the spirit of a game, uncertain how to consider themselves or their work; but perhaps aware of a game or role they must adopt and enact, claiming their space in the ‘field’. This is like Marzocchi’s earlier work The audience made in collaboration with Mattia Pajè, where the seats of a pitch are occupied by paintings: a confusion between work and audience. The spectator has been substituted by the work. 

The shifting use of space, simultaneously gallery, theatre and pitch, the exploitation of game tactics, and interweaving of individuals making up a team sound installation, requests that the presentation of the work should not be reductive. Exhibited, on display, it should not have a framed space of belonging or fixed definition. Instead, the work is a collaboration with the audience, pushing and pulling on their spectatorship.

Photo credit: Bestard Pep and Filippo Marzocchi, courtesy of the artist

 
Derek Horton - Yelena Popova: Townlets and Her Name is Prometheus
Popova

“I’m not interested in making single objects, but in creating a complex network of facts, fictions, emotions, gestures, materials and images that relate to the world outside it.”

 

Yelena Popova

 

 

One of the benefits of artists’ residency projects is the way in which thought-provoking and unexpected juxtapositions arise from an artist’s research into their temporary location. This is how Yelena Popova found herself, during a month-long residency at Wakefield’s Art House in 2018, making interactive sculptural works that created an unlikely relationship between sport, games and nuclear physics. Wakefield is still home to an important handmade cricket bat making company and has a significant history of manufacturing sports equipment, most notably at the now closed Slazenger factory, well known for its tennis rackets and balls, but also making cricket bats, golf balls, hockey sticks and more. Less benignly, Wakefield’s perhaps better known claim to fame is its high-security prison, which over the years has housed many high-profile offenders. One of those was the theoretical physicist, Klaus Fuchs.Having worked on nuclear fusion he was part of the infamous Manhattan Project developing atomic weapons, and during the Cold War he was found guilty of passing on highly secretive work to the Soviet Union and spent nine years incarcerated in HMP Wakefield during the 1950s.

 

Popova’s diverse practice encompasses painting, sculpture, video and installation and, referencing the aesthetic traditions of Russian Constructivism and Minimalism, she is centrally concerned with exploring the concept of balance––physically and literally, and also metaphorically in relation to politics, representation and the relationship of nature and technology. 

 

The interactive and participatory work Popova made for her Wakefield residency has clear connections with her earlier installations, Balance of Probability at the Saatchi Gallery and Drying Time at Paradise Row, in which delicately coloured paintings of curvilinear shapes were precariously arranged and held in place with makeshift supports, interconnected and balanced harmoniously, but conveying simultaneously a sense of asymmetric fragility and the risk of collapse.

Popova

For the Art House space at Wakefield, Popova created multiple components cut from foam, derived from her research on Klaus Fuchs and taking their shapes from his diagrams of the molecular structure of the plutonium atom. Visitors were encouraged to engage playfully with these sculptural elements in an interactive game in which structures could be built, knocked down, and creatively rebuilt. Another inspiration for Popova was the traditional Russian skittle game, Gorodki, which she translated to title this work as Townlets. This title simultaneously references the architectural qualities of the work’s multi-component structure and the relatively small town in and for which the work was made; whilst the use of Fuchs’ diagrams of the nuclear fusion principle relate the large scale game in the gallery to the process of building and deconstruction at a subatomic level. 

Popova
Popova

Popova’s residency culminated in a reanimation of the Townlets project in a swimming performance event, Her Name is Prometheus, in which families from the local community were invited to swim with the floating sculptural components and choreograph their interactions with each other and with the precarious structures they assembled in the water. (As an interesting aside, it might be significant to note that synchronised swimming is the only Olympic sport in which men are not allowed to compete, and also that it was renamed ‘artistic swimming’ in 2017.) Popova’s reference to Prometheus in the title of the work relates to her idea that, “if Prometheus, the mighty Titan who stole fire from the Gods, had been a woman, the story of scientific progress could have been different. Prometheus would not be a lone genius, but a mighty sisterhood capable of inhaling injustice and breathing fire”. In this new context, placing the Townlets elements in the control of water-borne women, the work literally and metaphorically floats between art, sport and performance to create balancing acts that model complex ideas of fusion and fission in deceptively simple and playful ways.

Popova

Photo credit: Amy Charles.

 
Bill Beckley - Silent Ping-Pong

Bill Beckley’s Silent Ping-Pong, 1971, was first exhibited at 112 Greene Street in New York. Four Ping-Pong tables were covered with foam, as were the paddles, silencing the central sound of this game (the title a humorous juxtaposition). Sound is instead handed and isolated to the players who are at once performers and spectators. While the balls and tables remain silent, the ‘ping-pong’ removed, the game does not so long as viewers engage. The work was re-exhibited in 2008 at Chelsea Space, London, alongside other works including Short Story for Hopscotch, 1971, upon which viewers were also invited to play.

Beckley
Beckley
Beckley
Beckley
Beckley

Images from Ping-Pong Dialogues at Chelsea Space in 2008, courtesy of the artist

 
Lisa Stansbie - Swimming On Dry Land

This collage, 2016, incorporates a newspaper cutting from The Sketch, 13 January 1897, illustrating “a method of carrying an insensible person in the water”, one of the movements that formed part of school swimming classes at the time.

Lisa Stansbie
 
James Whittle and Rachel Fullegar - this is how it is

Live premiere performance recording by Juice Vocal Ensemble, York Unitarian Chapel, 7 July 2018. For three voices and fixed media. Recording engineered by Lynette Quek. 

We asked ourselves what it means to write for others who act as a mouthpiece, examining gender balance and seeking to acknowledge and celebrate the work of contemporary and historical female artists. First we collated texts by male historical figures alluding to a canon of ‘great men’ and their contribution to history. Their words ‘from the best books’, among those of many others in power, have set the agenda for how we live today. We then developed the music together, mapping the rhythm and tone of each line of text in melody, working almost like a director (Rachel, Co-Artistic Director of Gracefool Collective) and actor (James, through musical notation). The “plus” element became a disembodied, directorial voice setting the status quo for the performers and attempting to retain control as the performers’ thoughts and agency develop through a soliloquy-refrain. While music and text were devised collaboratively, we were unable to include the performers in this process, meaning they are still conduits for our views in the piece. Though, as they sing at the end, they intend to write it – the act of performance has its own agency.

Whittle Fullegar
 
Catriona McAra - Snooker Studies with Lydia Blakeley
Blakeley

Ronnie O’Sullivan (‘The Rocket', b.1975) is surely the most instantly recognisable, successful and uncompromising living snooker player. His astonishing maximum break of 147 in the 1997 World Championship, achieved in under 5 minutes, 20 seconds, offers a lesson in confidence, precision and balletic continuity, a “masterpiece” he has since proven himself capable of reworking. 

 

Snooker operates much like an artistic medium, and O’Sullivan is the chief subject of a series of 12 small paintings, three of which are currently on display in Curator’s Choice at Leeds Arts University [i]. Made by Lydia Blakeley towards the conclusion of her MFA at Goldsmiths (2018-19), these diminutive and witty portraits have a miniaturist, Dutch or votive quality as well as being closely related to the field of caricature. Blakeley explains that her choice of O’Sullivan is not only related to his distinctive appearance but also his embodiment of English humour. She is interested in the idea of a working-class hero who might never find fame in the National Portrait Gallery or Sports Personality of the Year, yet has become an accessible poster-boy for his field. 

 

Her Ronnies have much to say about the parallels between sport and art-making. For Blakeley, the sport of snooker is painting in that the bold colours and crucial emphasis on angles and composition could be said to mimic the technique and effects of painting. Beyond the nineteenth century origins of the game, snooker has much in common with modernist painting and its aftermath. The cue performs the role of mark-maker while the rectangular, landscape orientation of her Ronnies imitate the support of the snooker table as picture plane. As Derek Horton has observed in a text on the artist elsewhere: “The flat, rectilinear picture plane, on which most painting still relies, relates to our experience of other flat surfaces in the material world – walls, floors, tabletops, noticeboards, blackboards" [ii]. In snooker, games are also “frames”. Think of Vincent Van Gogh’s lurid The Night Café (1888) [iii] which seems to predate, by a century, much of the O’Sullivan’s troubled psychology. Writing on Joseph Beuys, Benjamin Buchloh cautions in that “the cult and the myth seem to have become inseparable from the work […] his confusion of art and life is a deliberate programmatic position” [iv]. O’Sullivan himself is no stranger to the art world. Damien Hirst is perhaps unsurprisingly one of the snooker legend’s greatest champions having created a dot painting in his friend’s honour, Iopanoic Acid (2011), a schematic yet highly accurate depiction of the aforementioned 147. Consistent with Hirst’s pharmaceutical interests (1992), Iopanoic Acid refers to a contrast medium used in cholecystography to help detect gallstones in the body. In the picture, Hirst forensically documents the starting and finishing positions of O’Sullivan’s epic break, but the underlying suggestion is that snooker balls are also irritable gallstones ripe for aesthetic intervention. 

 

Blakeley has titled her series “Hellhole” after O’Sullivan’s derisive label for the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley. A hellhole may also relate to the nail-biting tension of sinking a ball in a pocket, the sheer awkwardness of a certain shot that has to be played, or even to the ultimate act of snookering one’s opponent. In stark contrast to the dapper dress code and etiquette of the game, O’Sullivan is known for his unpredictable antics. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association have frequently had to fine or ban O’Sullivan for uncouth behaviour or bad sportsmanship, following his stints in rehab having battled drug and alcohol addictions. 

Yet despite such disciplining, O’Sullivan appears to consciously court his notoriety knowing full well that such performative outbursts make the game all the more entertaining to watch [v]. Blakeley meanwhile hones in on his interstitial ticks: his saucer-eyed gawp, his concentrated stare, his wild grimace – much of it like a gallery visitor scrutinising a museum artefact. Indeed, O’Sullivan is known for a range of painstaking and incredulous facial expressions which he tends to pull between potting a ball and setting up his cue, invariably accompanied by a cursory flick of his chalk. He professes a disliking for such televised analysis: “Sometimes when I’m on TV I’m so aware of the camera picking up every tiny thing I’m doing – flicking my ear, picking my nose, twitching my eyes. It interrogates you” [vi]. He describes the snooker hall as “claustrophobic”. The Crucible itself evokes a display space that is alchemical, theatrical and highly pressured – much like Blakeley’s understanding of her own meticulous studio practice.   

 

The choice of Ronnie speaks volumes of Blakeley’s wider oeuvre which continues to undertake a painterly critique of popular culture. Following her recent cycle, You’re Doing Amazing, Sweetie, which comprised highly Instagrammable, Kardashian pets and homes (2018), her Ronnies co-opt an iconic, real-life star as the vehicle for her painterly investigations, subverting the notion of celebrity personalities through fastidious, technical means. Painting for Blakeley is at once both a nostalgic and de-romanticized activity, and the art of snooker could be described as a compact metaphor for such endeavours. 

 

NOTES

[i] By appointment. These artworks were first exhibited at Plaza Plaza, London. 

[ii] Derek Horton, An Eye to the Future: Recent Paintings by Lydia Blakeley. Leeds: Leeds Arts University, 2017.

[iii] Famously “a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime” – Letter to Theo van Gogh (9 September 1888)

[iv] Benjamin Buchloh, ‘Beuys: The Twilight of the Idol,’ available widely but first published in Artforum (1980).  

[v] Ronnie O’Sullivan, Running: The Autobiography. London: Orion, 2013, 222.

[vi] O’Sullivan, 14-15. 

 

Paintings illustrated:

Lydia Blakeley, Ronnie series, 2018/19 (oil on linen, 13 x 18 cm).

 
Andrea Rüthel and Susanna Berivan - WIE / LIKE
 
Jo Longhurst - Other Spaces

Jo Longhurst’s Other Spaces is an extensive and ongoing project arising from her interest in the concept of perfection. In an interview she has said that she is “interested in the many cultural notions of perfection and the often fluid and fluctuating propositions these entail, as well as the human obsession and drive that underpin attempts to achieve them”.

Having previously explored the subculture of dog breeding, her more recent work has explored the physical and emotional experiences of elite gymnasts. Longhurst has worked with Heathrow Gymnastic Club, Gemini Gymnastics in Oshawa, at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and with a troupe of rhythmic gymnasts in the Mangueira favela in Rio de Janeiro. Working with original photographic source material she creates hybrid works through photography, video, performance and installation, referencing earlier attempts to define and create perfect worlds, from Plato's perfect solids to the Russian Constructivists Liubov Popova and Aleksandr Rodchenko’s revolutionary experiments with aesthetic forms.

Longhurst
Longhurst
Longhurst
Jo Longhurst Pivot videostill
 
Thomas Hutton - The Quirinale Bronze

          The ground was flat. An earthen terrace. The garden of an ex-convent. Rubble, soil and dust. Above was empty. Under was unknown. It was cold. The earth was hard with frost. A hole was picked with a tool. Heavy sharp iron with a dull wooden handle. The earth loosened. Shovels burrowed. Barrows filled. The hole grew larger. Wider to become deeper. It rained. The rain made the work heavier. The hole filled with sinking water. The task was muddied but they continued to dig. The hole soon buried the workers. First their feet, then their legs. They picked and dug and carried. The hole got even bigger. Earth ramps and wooden planks led the way down and in, then up and out. Ladders dropped from above. Still they dug. Their hands got rougher. Some bled. Every morning was early. Digging made them hungry. After lunch they slept. At night the hole was empty. The hole was abstract. A squarish deepening space. What were they digging for? Many days passed and the hole kept growing. The hole got deeper and the stones got bigger. Some were rough, some were cut, others were carved. They carried some out. Others were too heavy. The heavy ones were winched. The rope got longer. The ladders got taller. The ramps got steeper. Shovels continued. The hole receded. Then the hole found its purpose. It was a day like any other. One pick made a new sound. Not earth or stone but metal. The excavator cried out. Silence fell. Work stopped. The deepening paused. Pick became brush. It had started as digging. Now it was uncovering. The eye of metal widened. It expanded to become a plate. It was curved. A bowl? A crown. A head. The hole became focused. They moved carefully and quietly. A neck. They gasped. Then deeper, shoulders. Arms. Hands. Back. Waist. Legs. Feet. He was seated.

i.

ii.

          His metal weight gathers onto his stone column seat. He plants into a hunch that arches his massive back and drops the dome of his shoulders towards the arms that fall dead onto his thighs. His wrists reach inwards so the hands heavied by glove and fight meet and layer, left atop right. His weary legs buttress his torso to prevent it from toppling. His left leg bends at a right angle and its stabilizing foot settles flat onto the ground, rooting the weighting vertical force. His right leg extends into a triangular truss. Its heel digs for lateral support and a solid footing. The toes hover in ballast. The seated figure is an architecture of posture, assembled into eternal pose. An edifying structure of endurance. He has lasted the battle and lasted the burial. He has outlasted the stones that contained him. 

          His figure is a shield, cast into being to enclose the absent body of clay that modelled the form. Eighty percent copper, ten percent tin, ten percent lead. His alloyed bronze flesh is lacerated by battle, sculptor and burial. Cuts and blood are red from copper. The swollen cheek is bruised by more lead, less tin. The lava that washed the wax away through the wake of its solidifying flow eased into a cold metal complexion. But the bronze surface that was once emblazoned, polished by venerating hands to glow as golden as the molten fire that shaped it, has been dulled to sleep and tarnished into blackening greens. He could be burnished to gleam but instead he is untouched. 

          Binding coils around his wrists to hold the padding that protects his leaden hands. Scrotum and penis are bound by leather. Otherwise he is naked. His anatomy of muscle is laid bare to define its purpose and its pugilist past. His form is serene in its stillness, poised in its statued calm, posed into fatigue. His thick-set neck is set rigid. It rotates across his right shoulder to carry his tilting head that falls in exhaustion but turns in defiance. His hair and beard shackle into hooks that part and layer, radiating from the features of his punished face. They coil out of his cauliflower ears that are melted closed, opened only by the steep crevices of fresh wounds, surgically incised to draw the cast blood that trickles from the cuts. No sound enters, but from within the blows ring out like bells. He hears nothing else. His swollen nose is broken shut. Its bridge ruined by the drawn-out stampede of a fighting life. The parting fronds of his moustache hang from the expired breath of his nostrils and divide over the swelling of his copper-bruised mouth. His eyes are lost. Once they were filled with colour. The pigment of precious stone. They are apertures into the skin, blind vessels of a vacant gaze, drawn closed by the veil of hollow darkness they enclose. Even the sharp points of a searching light cannot pierce their surface. It deflects instead to bend around the brow and over the body, and to cast the entombing figure that buries space within. 

 
Jean-Michel Rolland - Une foule en colère
 
Lisa Bufano (20 October 1972 - 3 October 2013)

The second of Lisa Bufano’s two invited contributions to Soanyway’s first volume (2008 - 2013) appropriately appeared in an issue titled Above and Beyond. Her work as a performance artist and dancer was a testament to transcendent function, the creation of movements of grace, wit and elegance that rose above and beyond the limitations of her body with no fingers and both legs amputated below the knee. Her moving and expressive work involved her body articulating new forms and unexpected shapes through the creative use of prosthetics – high-tech carbon fibre prosthetic legs for her body training, and handmade creations for performance often refashioned from the legs of antique tables, and in one of her later works, an extraordinary squid dress.

 

We were delighted by Lisa’s generosity and encouragement when she was enthusiastic about us sharing her work through Soanyway more than ten years ago, even though they were just two tiny animated fragments from a much larger body of work. She once said of her approach to performance, “despite my own terror and discomfort in being watched (or, maybe, because of it), I am finding that being in front of viewers as a performer with deformity can produce a magnetic tension that could be developed into strength”. To celebrate that strength, and in her memory, we are republishing her two contributions to Soanyway in this issue. - DH

Filippo Marzocchi

Notes for performance