Reblogged from Tallis Steelyard:
I have intimated variously that I am not entirely sold on ‘Performance Art.’ Oh I entirely believe that artists ought to perform their work, but I feel that the audience should be able to relax and appreciate the piece, rather than discovering that somehow they’re part of the artwork they’re supposed to be appreciating.
Hence you will not find me joining Lancet Foredeck in inscribing my verses, one line at a time, on a procession of buoys marking the deep water channel in the estuary, on the somewhat overenthusiastic assumption that anybody will ever go out there to read them.
Still I have taken part in the occasional work, but never as the principal. One instance was where Shadon asked me to help him out. He is, at best, a mediocre poet, but discovered that if he could distract people from listening too closely to the actual words, he could pass himself off as a modestly accomplished artist. Thus he took to performance art as the poetical equivalent of the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of the skilled prestidigitator.
He asked me to take part at something he was organising at Madam Dolbart’s establishment. I agreed, not entirely for artistic reasons but also because the pastry served at her affairs are without doubt the finest in Port Naain. It is a real pleasure to browse her buffet table.
The first issue was that it was going to be a formal performance. This involved people wearing wigs and suchlike. Fortunately Madam Dolbart’s friends tended to have such garb, because Madam was fond of period dress, and Madam herself had a selection of nicely maintained garments and wigs for her performers.
Continue reading: Done in the right spirit – Tallis Steelyard