Documentation of Performance
Fringe Art Bath Festival, Bath, 2016
Modern Art Oxford, 2016
Creator: Maria Plotnikova
Contributors: Sarah Drain –
Karen Goonewardene – Chihiro Tani
Performers: Gary Charles – Vivian Fallah – Ivan Qarlsen Ledesma – Katherine Bowra – Aya Kasai – Vickie Perry – Soňa Dobajova – Blanca Rodriguez Beltran – Cecilia Drain
Photo/Video: Anastasia Plotnikova
Initially this performance was set up with five performers in a line, which was later expanded to a square of twelve people. Performers are connected with the wooden sticks, which are held between their bodies using pressure and balance. When they start moving, the sticks start falling gradually. The performance continues until people loose all of the sticks. All the movements are choreographed by natural body behaviour with one instruction: try not to loose the sticks for as long as you can. The viewers are invited to enter this piece through the empathy to the performers.
This is an allegory to all kinds of connection between humans in any groups, starting from couples and mirrored in whole nations. In order to make this a fragile and temporary connection, one should sacrifice himself for the good of whole group. When performers are relieved one by one at first audience is struck with a sense of sympathy, however the layer of liberation is unraveled when the whole group falls apart.
The installation is a presents of the ‘Stick Apart’ performance in the gallery space. All the sticks that connect performers in the previous piece are hanging in the air without any people between them. On the wall near it there is a screen with the video of performance. The viewer is invited to the negative space of the performance and is guided by the installation to focus his attention on the sticks (connections) between people. Some of the sticks are lying on the floor, as if they fell down already. There is a hidden speaker that plays the audio recording of the sound of the stick hitting the pavement.