Carrying Lyn

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Abstract

'Carrying Lyn' was commissioned by Chapter, Cardiff and performed in the arts centre and on the city streets. The work was realised within the context of Mike Brookes and Mike Pearson's long term collaboration, under the umbrella of their performance collective 'Pearson/Brookes'.

'Carrying Lyn' was a multi-site work, with performance occurring simultaneously at dispersed urban locations. And involved: the inclusion of low-grade, analogue technology; the use of time as an organising dramaturgical principle in site work; collage dramaturgy, juxtaposing live and mediated documentation generated during the performance itself; and performers engaged in an interrupted, discontinuous practice as they moved from location to location.

Over a two hour period, on Saturday June 2nd 2001 - the day of a Wales-Poland soccer international - performers carried disabled transsexual performer Lyn Levett across the centre of the city of Cardiff, and recorded their journey through a structured sequence of video fragments and Polariod images. That same evening - again carrying Levett - they attempted to exactly retrace their steps. While, for an audience in Chapter's studio, Brookes simultaneously constructed and presented possible versions of both journeys, in real time, from the available documentation - mixing video and audio recordings from the first Journey with footage from the second, couriered to him directly from the street by a team of cycle couriers.

Brookes presented material from 'Carrying Lyn' and discussed its concepts at the PARIP conference, University of Leeds, July 2005 and in a guest workshop at the ‘Performing Presence’ project University of Exeter, February 2006.

Research questions include:
How might performance be constituted as a field of activity across an urban space rather than singular object of scrutiny?
In what ways can the auditorium be rendered porous through the inclusion of mediated material recently generated elsewhere?
How might documentation itself be folded back into the dramaturgy of performance?
In what ways might multi-site performance problematise notions of presence, absence and live-ness in definitions of performance?