Performance Art Workshop with Amanda Coogan

Sunday 3rd March 2019 12pm – 4pm

Tickets: €15

Booking (021) 4507487 (Box Office Opening hours 1pm – 4pm Tuesday to Friday)

– Please prepare a 5-minute performance with consideration of costume, props and action.
– Wear flexible, warm and waterproof clothes (we will be outside for sometime)
– Bring a handheld mirror
– Bring 1 glass for water (no plastic)
– Be prepared to perform, draw, photograph and video

Live performances are ever shifting, malleable artworks with four significant elements; Site, Time, Audience and Performer(s). This workshop will focus on the individual artists body as art material and explore, through simple exercises, methodologies of communicating non-verbally with your body, materials and concepts. Using your body as a material in your practice is a significant formal, emotional and conceptual step for an artist. With this in mind, the broad discipline of performance studies can be of use in equipping us with knowledge that crosses disciplines and enriches our practice. Performance art is a wide and varied form. I outline the core of my practice here and nodes of work I will be bringing to this workshop.

I am a Visual artist and the centrality of my work is live performance. My work is an embodied practice, both in form and concept. The activities of the body are core to my live performances and the body of the artist, my body, is ground zero. That body, it is important to note, is female, is able-bodied and, in literal-visual terms, has white skin, blond hair and blue eyes. The fact of presenting a live body publicly necessitates an awareness of the literal visual reading of that body and the dynamics of perception. We will begin the workshop considering the literal visual reading of our bodies, centering the body and exploring where each artists site of embodied communication may be.

My practice is process driven with live durational performance at its core. (Durational performance, in this context, means so anything over 3 consecutive hours of publicly presented performance.) The workshop will move on to a number of exercises that will explore a sense of concentration on the present moment and assist in process of developing ‘flow’ and deep concentration during performance. These exercises will also draw our attention to the movement of our body and our control and precision of those movements.

The exercises will also facilitate a process of stillness and distillation of ideas that, I believe, assists in developing new work. Process-based working is an essential methodology of developing new work. To this end I ask all the participants to prepare a 5 minute performance to show within the workshop. These performances will be the bases from which we can explore possible structures of further development. I ask you to come with an openness to re contextualising your performances throughout the workshop and pushing yourself emotionally and conceptually. I would like us to learn from each other without hierarchy, therefore the group dynamic of sharing, exploring and safe risk taking is a key component of the workshop. We will focus on exploring and experiencing with an eye towards sharpening our awareness and communication skills. We will be each other’s audience, reflection and collaborators. I ask everyone to honestly and critically feedback during the workshop with empathy, trust and love for our fellow artists. The emphasis for this workshop is on process.

– Please prepare a 5-minute performance with consideration of costume, props and action.
– Wear flexible, warm and water proof clothes (we will be outside for sometime)
– Bring a handheld mirror
– Bring 1 glass for water (no plastic)
– Be prepared to perform, draw, photograph and video.

I will ask you to consider your performance actions under different lenses;
To locate the urgency in your action.
To deconstruct the action and rebuild it.
To be alert to the controlled instability of live action.
To become aware of site and context.
To consider technique, natural and formal, and be prepared to test out different methods.

Amanda is an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist working across the medias of live art, performance, sculpture and installation. The Irish
Times have said, ‘Coogan, whose work usually entails ritual, endurance and cultural iconography, is the leading practitioner of performance in the country’. Her extraordinary work is challenging, provocative and always visually stimulating. Using gesture and context she makes allegorical and poetic works that are multi-faceted, and challenge expected contexts. She is one of the most dynamic contemporary artists practising in live art. The body, as a site of resistance, is the centrality of Coogan’s work. She encompass a multitude of media; Objects, Text, moving and still image, all circulating around her live performances. Her expertise lies in her ability to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body.
Time is a key material in Coogan’s practice, building controlled instability into the fabric of her work. The long durational aspect of her live presentations invites elements of chaos with the unknown and unpredicted erupting dynamically through her live artworks. Artforum described her 2015 live exhibition; I’ll sing you a song from around the town, as ‘performance art at its best’.