Reflections on Dear Mick Jagger...

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalPerformance Research
Volume20
Issue number2
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 2015
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Abstract

Dear Mick Jagger … was an enhanced screening of a film that explores the relationship between the Jones family (my immediate family) and their livestock animals. It was conceived to be viewed in relation to a particular space on my parents’ upland sheep farm in mid Wales. The film was presented alongside everyday work done with the sheep, and task-based performative action. The film itself uses a mixture of creative styles and techniques, and includes documentary footage, sequences of interviews, artistic imagery in combination with an autobiographical and philosophical narrative. The concept for the film and its images came from my engagement with the ethnographic fieldwork that I undertook over the course of three years and during my lifelong engagement with the farm. The film and its enhanced screening sought to create a rupture in both our own understanding of our relationships with our animals, and perhaps the hegemonic discourses about rural life. Sheep define my family as people who know about sheep, and this in turn gives them access to particular facets of society; allowing them a sense of belonging to a wider farming community with its own particular culture centered around the aesthetics and genetics of sheep. I often joke that I can spot a farmer a mile off from his or her gait; and in their particular way of moving, I see an embodiment of the livestock animals they care for. A becoming-human defined through and by the bodies of animals. During the film I argue that we become those human beings alongside our animals; the sheep transfer something of themselves onto us as Homo sapiens.

Keywords

  • farming identify, film, Performance, anthropomorphism, practice as research