And so it has been, and so it is written

 

As terrifying as it is to see your piece come to life, I am thoroughly proud of what I have achieved. In order to take part in the piece, I asked prospective audience members to supply me with an email address that I could send the link and instructions to. I then instructed the group to meet outside the library 15 minutes prior to the performance time to receive their prop pack, which contained a white mask, some blu tac, a marker pen, a card with a fact written on it, and a blank piece of card.

Upon starting the piece, I followed the group round the library, taking notice of looks and remarks by other library users. I realised that the group wasn’t exactly in sync due to a lag when they had pressed play, though was still happy with the effect I was creating.

When the piece started, the majority of the people I saw looking at the performers didn’t remark, just stared. Halfway through the piece when the performers put on the masks however, the reactions changed dramatically. People began to appear visibly unnerved by the performance, as though the masks added an extra factor.

One problem that the performers came across was an error in timing. Part of the performance included standing on the first floor landing, facing the glass and holing a card with a fact written on it. I then asked the performers to stick the card onto the wall and walk downstairs where they would be given another instruction. Due to an error on my part, the timing was wrong and they were given their next instruction as they walked down the stairs, meaning that when they arrive to the bottom floor to do their first task, they were being fed a new instruction. Although I had listened to the tack in the library, I can only assume that as the writer I knew what was coming next and so started walking downstairs earlier than told to. This meant that the timings seemed to work well for me, but didn’t for the performers.

The piece ended with all performers standing in the entrance to the library, wearing a mask and holding up a on which they had written their passion. As a person watching the performance the visual effect was strong and I noticed a large number of people staring and commenting to their friends. My favourite comment, though I can only apologise to the man that made it, was said to the library desk and went something along the lines of ‘Are the people wearing the masks doing some sort of drama thing? Well I don’t think it’s very entertaining at all. In fact it’s bloody freaky and disgusting, you shouldn’t have let them do it in here.’. Though meant as criticism, I took the comment as a compliment. The aim of my piece was to make people notice, not just my performance, but anything in the library and the fact that this man felt moved enough to make a complaint, I consider to be high praise.

I thoroughly enjoyed making and watching the piece, and have since been inspired to take part in small pieces of performance art and demonstrations throughout Lincoln.

Rebecca Baines. This is how the library will see me from now on.

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Posted: May 13th, 2013
Categories: Identity - Becca Baines, Library, Uncategorized
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Comments: 2 Comments.
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