Enlarging the small ones:a critical reflection on the MA performance by Shannon Roszell

Authors Organisations
Type

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Jill Greenhalgh
Award date2010
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Abstract

The Performance. ‘The Small Ones’ examines just those: the small items, the small moments and the small memories that compose a life. It is a solo performance exploring memory and object juxtaposing live-feed projections with the body in space. The piece is a series of examinations of these memories through objects that are revealed to the audience through a live-feed projection. In ‘The Small Ones’, the presence of the live performer sits in stark contrast to dozens of objects that have been carefully preserved in jars. In each of these jars
rests an object, but more important than the object is the memory attached. One live-feed projection invites the audience to see the small object as it is enlarged on the screen while a second live-feed projection allows for the close observation of the performer, as she shares associated texts. The digitized image allows the audience to encounter these objects in an aesthetic and heightened manner and acts as a gateway into the performance of memory.
At the same time, there is an interplay between the live, living body onstage and the projected image of this body that is certainly not alive. This dance between the live body and the digital image, past experience and present memory evokes questions of mortality and pays homage to the passing of time.
The Commentary. ‘ENLARGING THE SMALL ONES’ seeks to provide further insight into the performance ‘The Small Ones’. The commentary is divided into three sections each working to elucidate different aspects of the work. Section one articulates the process of creation as recollected by the artist and details her practice-as-research into the performance of memory and its relationship to object. Section two considers the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the performance: the way objects are performed in the piece, the digitized image versus the live body as well as the treatment of time and duration. Section
three draws conclusions from the research, contextualizing how the artist’s memory has been altered through the creation and performance of the piece

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