Sunday, 3 April 2016

Clan Dramaturgy Mulgrew/Orton @ Buzzcut

Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you are bringing to Buzzcut?
The Clan is a collaborative improvised workshop from 8 artists from 2 families. We grew up together and span 3 generations.  Improvisation and spontaneity is integral to our lives and practice. We will be leading a procession at the end of our workshop, which will be devised and constructed in an ad-hoc extravangza workshop proceeding it.

What is it about Buzzcut that attracted you to perform as part of it?
We live in disparate locations, and we were attracted by the idea of coming together, for one day only, in a festival location as a site of this improvised work. Buzzcut as a performance festival is also an interesting place to site our work, which spans sculpture, music and performance. Also, this work is completely devised on the day, and as such, carries a risk for the festival, and Buzzcut have supported this idea by accepting us into the festival, which is very attractive in itself!

Do you see your work within any tradition - and are there any artists (performance and beyond) whom you regard as a peer or an influence?
For this project we are trying to work within traditions which may be more community based- the local dramatic society play, ceilidhs, parties and social gatherings. We are trying to bring that side of our creative practice into our more formal creative practice by displaying the process of how you try to work together

How 'typical' is this work compared to other pieces that you have made? Did the process follow a familiar or new pattern?
As 8 artists we make very different works in our own practices, and this project is about bringing disparate skills and aesthetics together as well as about taking a risk in working with close friends and family who we may not always work with. I personally (Morven Mulgrew) have never made any work with my mum, which is following a new pattern already, and not always in the way Im pulling!

Buzzcut is concerned with the idea of 'community'. Does community have a special meaning for you, and what relationship do you feel your work has within wider communities?
This project is actually about the community you form around yourself, and how artwork can collide with your personal community. The Clan is a response to having a special connection with people with a long personal history, and how this can translate through art and performance. The processional aspect of The Clan is about opening that community feeling up to the wider audience and trying to start a conversation about how the audience can become part of a work and what community that can create.

What are you hoping that the audience will experience?
We want to open up the collaborative creative workshop process to be viewed and examined to the audience- a kind of living museum - we are interested in what an audience could take from this, and how we can stage the workshop in order to frame it for the audience. In the procession aspect of the performance we hope that the audience will be able to be part of the performance, and be able to watch and listen to something visually and aurally chaotic and anarchic.

Are there any strategies which you used to direct the audience experience towards this?
As mentioned above, we are considering carefully how we visually stage our workshop- in order to that the audience can put it into a context. For the procession, we  have chosen the construct of a parade or procession as it is an event understood by an audience so that we don't need to use a lot of language or direction to be able to entice the audience into particpation or even to watch and move with the performance.

What is it about performance that enticed you - and kept you making it?
We describe ourselves as sculptors, painters, musicians and performers. Our performance practice comes in many forms, however it is the immediacy and live nature of a performance that means we can create something together, quickly, with little resource. The danger and risk in exposing our weaknesses by working this way is very exciting to us.

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