Life after Beuys

Life is a sensory experience of the world.

Art is a sensory expression of life.

Life is a series of irreversible changes brought about by transient events.

Art is a series of irreversible changes brought about by transient ideas.


My final performance for the degree show involved touring the show cradling a raw chicken. I spoke to it of life and art in each space as I considered the work. Though I ignored any attempted communication from the other viewers of the show or the artists who sat in their spaces, there was a huge amount of “audience participation”. Mostly it was through reactions that people became unconscious performers in the piece, either reacting to the fact that I was carrying a chicken or to the fact that I ignored them when they enquired about my actions. Some people actively followed me around, watching me instead of looking at the work on the walls or leaning in closer than you usually would to a stranger in order to hear what I was saying to the chicken. The most interesting part for me was when I was standing by a door waiting for someone to walk through so I could continue, a small crowd began to gather watching me through the glass. I stood patiently until one of the group hesitantly opened the door and held it for me as I walked through. There were also several interesting alignments between my performance and the other work in the show; paintings of eggs and chickens as well as other references to death, the maternal body and raw meat. I wonder if anyone else noticed them.

p.s. “Stranger” is a very interesting word.