I will pass on the Protagonist's duties to Bob and Roberta Smith imminently. With this in mind I decided to take a good look over my posts from the past year. I found that there were some rough edges - from allusions to future posts that went unwritten to promises of performance documentation that I still haven't got around to editing, much less uploading. This post is intended both to sum up and tie up those loose ends. I'm not dwelling on the negative, but rather hoping to find a way, step-by-step to complete what I originally set out to do. 1) The Film Project
Right from the word go I stated I was working on a series of performances, a web-TV show and a film project to be screened alongside films by other artists. We have seen performances come to fruition and some attempts at my web-TV show, but what of the film? There were some posts in April of last year when I started shooting, but since then total silence. The fact is, due to some poor planning and technical difficulties I can't bring myself to watch the footage. I'm hoping that my passion for the project will return and I'll make something of it. Perhaps it's the starting point of another episode of The O Show or maybe all I need to do is schedule a re-shoot. Hopefully that film will take shape and the screening alongside other artist's films will also be realised in due course. Most importantly for now, I learned a hard lesson from what happened; apparently it's an old adage: "if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail". 2) Behind the scenes of The Do It All Dating Game - Part 1
Now there is an example of something that was meticulously planned and as such was well executed. That said, there is some unfinished business to do with The Do It All Dating Game. Firstly, I never completed editing the video documentation. Secondly, the blog post is called 'Part 1' because I had intended to write a 'Part II'. (Fittingly and perhaps presciently, I talk about the seeming endlessness of the artistic process in that 'Part 1' blog post.) Third and last, and perhaps most regrettable of all, I never did find out about how the winners' dates went. I had intended to do a follow-up piece on stickam to get the back story. I don't think Eirini ever went on her date. :( Hopefully the piece will be recommissioned and I'll get the chance to do it right, all the way to the end! Just to get it out of my system... here is the gist of 'Behind The Scenes of The Do It All Dating Game - Part II' blog post: Hours before the show began, when I was meeting many of the contestants for the first time, I found out that they were quite intimidated at the thought of performing for an audience. This was brought home to me when we were asked by a reporter from BBC Radio to do a quick rehearsal for her, so she could record some sound bites. When the ladies got on their mini-trampolines, it became painfully obvious that they didn't know what they were doing; they didn't know how to get or keep the audience's attention. Even though the story never aired on BBC Radio Nottingham, I'm really glad that reporter was there because I might not have known this was a problem that had to be overcome. I took all the participants back stage and told them I had some fool-proof exercises that would help them overcome their shyness, fear of audiences, etc. I said this of course not knowing whether or not the exercises would in fact have the desired effect. Well, perhaps the sheer power of suggestion made it happen. I made them do some very basic theatrical mirroring games. This enabled them to loosen up and they went about helping each other come up with funny lines to deliver during the show, since the questions were planned in advance. I think they may have got a bit too loosened up; one newly liberated performer took to chucking food at the audience. Anyway, it was a great experience for me to find out that I had the ability to turn ordinary shy people into brazen exhibitionists. Voila!
3) 5 Success Stories
In this post I actually say the words "watch this space". You can keep watching, but you won't see documentation of the collaborative performance piece I did with students from Scarborough here. Shame. I did get sent a DVD of the performance, it's somewhere in my studio and I hope I can find it because I really am proud of what we made. Hopefully it will make its way onto my own website (www.orianafox.com) in the soon to be revealed, brand-spanking new 'Research' section. 4) Face to Face - conclusion
I want(ed) to write a conclusion to my series of posts based on my interview with Judy Chicago about her book Frida Kahlo Face to Face. At least I had the good sense not to say 'to be continued' at the end of the fourth excerpt. Part of the reason I never wrote part 5 was because I knew that final post would compare my work to Chicago's and Kahlo's and question whether it would be worthwhile for me to make work like theirs today (and if it would be taken seriously). In other words, it would entail being critical of these women who I admire and their artistic strategies in a way that I didn't feel comfortable doing. But isn't that what friends are for? And isn't it good that my approach to art making is different/unique and doesn't follow too closely in my heroines' footsteps. This post would also have had to confront the fact that even when I try to convey my emotions and personal experiences in my work, what comes out often seems cliche. . . .