Grace Surman

The premiere of Two Four One One at Compass Festival of Live Art will mark a return to my work in a public sphere.

I’ve had an involvement and commitment to the arts scene in England since 1995, and since 2000 in Scotland (resident between 2000 – 2007), working within  range of presentations of work both nationally and internationally.

I’ve  had a 4 year break from making work to start a family and am now re-emerging to create and tour live work.

This project will be a duet with Cathy Butterworth. Cathy is a performer, curator and researcher in Live Art practices, who for the last 10 years has programmed, produced and performed in projects primarily in and around Liverpool. This work continues an interest in collaborative work (with other performers, video artists) and develops material and concerns of previous pieces made up to 2007.

Broadly I think there is a tradition within actionist performance work which demands serious men (and Marina Abramovic), to undertake a series of  strenuous, demanding often exhausting tasks. Very often setting up their bodies negotiating certain materials in a space which requires mental and physical stamina. I have a fascination with this work but find the idea of my body/face/identity in this “space” somehow not right. The seriousness or violence which I feel as a viewer is not something my form can hold. I expend energy quickly and talk fast. I’m interested in how the performance artist uses the qualities which others see in them, what their face and energy immediately communicate.

This new work, as with previous pieces, continue to investigate how it can blur the closely connected, but different, terms of performance art and the theatrical.


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