“Bray” is a performance comprised of small actions that use homemade and altered everyday objects and phonic oscillations. In the performance space, a family photograph, a large red flag, a white line, a ball of hair, slate pieces, a belt and a bottle containing my deciduous teeth are arranged. This arrangement reflects collages constructed in the process leading up to the performance and was decided before arrival to the gallery. In this sense, the arrangement of the space exists as a kind of score that structures the actions I perform. During the performance I move between the objects, creating visual and sonic interventions by rolling the bottle of teeth and rotating the slate pieces in my hands. I also rearrange objects, creating relationships between the objects that are present, my own body and the audience.
My practice explores writing as an event, and so language plays an important part in both the process of making the performance and the performance itself. “Bray” considers language as an object. I repeat one singular phrase as a loud chant. This action, as a task of repetition and a phonic experiment, concentrates on the potential sonic dimensions of performance art. The chant uses two Cumbrian words (local to my own family and upbringing) that transform into an accumulative repetitive sound, reducing language to the sound itself. I understand my performances as live writing events, where the movement of the body and its linguistic actions are seen as writing events. The process leading up to the performance involves the arrangement and rearrangement of texts; these are embodied in the actions I perform and play out live in the space. The event of the performance is seen as a public writing action, not through visual language but through an embodied vocabulary and phonic experience. “Bray” is an exploration of language as both a material and a site, replacing the metaphysical and symbolic function of writing.