Wednesday, 20 October 2010

a solo-performance by Sylvia Rimat

A performer tries to retrace her experience of fainting on stage in a performance in 2003. By employing chalk signs, video snippets and a mic, a contemplation on memory, on ‘being here’ and disappearing, and on different modes of reality is being composed.

It starts with an empty stage and the curtains closed. So obviously there are no curtains here. But please, imagine them to be closed. And obviously I am here. But please imagine me not to be here. Which is difficult and irritating. Because I am. I am here. But in your imagination I am not. Okay? Okay.

There’s a chalk board, a video projection and a mic. By drawing the outlines of furniture with chalk on the stage floor, performer Sylvia Rimat constructs different spaces and rooms and inhabits them. ‘Being Here While Not Being Here’ is a solo-performance which follows several interwoven and ongoing strands. By telling fragments of the experience of fainting on stage in the performance ‘Good You Came’ in 2003, different forms and perspectives of remembering and documenting are being employed. At the same time the performance draws on diverse states of ‘being in reality’. A person recovering consciousness and coming back to ‘real life’ can experience this moment like sitting in a cinema and watching the show on the projection screen opening up. Opening and closing curtains are therefore an ongoing motive throughout the performance. And then the ‘fainting lark’ is being introduced, a simple physical trick that can be applied to make yourself faint on purpose and which could be used live on stage.

There’s a possibility for me to be here and at the same time not to be here. But it’s too early yet.. 

The performance approaches what it actually could mean to be ‘here’ or to be absent, plays with the live audience-performer situation and uses the theatre stage as a metaphor for the different (inner and outer) rooms we pass through.

Concept and performance: Sylvia Rimat
Outside eye: Jo Bannon
Artistic support: Marina de Quay, Duncan Speakman

Duration of performance: 30min
A 20min video-documentation and Tech Specs can be sent to you on request.

Previous showings

_The Basement Brighton (April 11)
_Showroom at Aberystwyth Arts Centre (March 10)
_Sprint Festival at Camden People’s Theatre, London (June 09)
_National Platform at SPILL Festival, London (April 09)
_We Live Here Live Art Weekender at Arnolfini, Bristol (Feb 09)
_Ustinov Studio/ Theatre Royal Bath (Oct 08)
_European Performance Art Festival at Centre for Contemporary Arts,    Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw/ Poland (Sep 08)
_Small is Beautiful platform at Bristol Mayfest (May 08)
_I am Still Your Worst Nightmare, Live Art platform at Arnolfini Bristol (April 08)

A paper on the performance was presented at the Performing Presence conference, University of Exeter (March 09).