Traion I (Ferme)

Dans Ma Cellule, Une Silhouette, 1st February – 20th April 2014, Centre d’Art Contemporain, La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, Paris

Gallery

 

Maryclare Foá and Birgitta Hosea were commissioned to create a new piece of work for this exhibition inspired by the legend of the first drawing told by Pliny the Elder. In this apocryphal tale a Corinthian maiden, whose name is not recorded, traces a line on the wall around the shadow of her lover as he is about to depart. Her father, Butades, a potter, fills the outline with clay and fires it in his kiln.

This action of Butades’s daughter, in which she attempts to freeze time and contain presence, is seen by many art historians as the foundational act of Western painting and drawing.

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This exhibition curated by Lore Gablier for La Ferme du Buisson features the work of different artists who use drawing to investigate the visualisation of absence, loss and desire. Artists included are: William Anastasi / Abdelkader Benchamma / Mathieu Bonardet / Geta Brătescu / Maryclare Foá & Birgitta Hosea (Performance Drawing Collective) / Jean Genet / Dennis Oppenheim / Santiago Reyes / Till Roeskens / Carla Zaccagnini.

Here is the English translation of the text by curator Lore Gablier about the exhibition:

I have the shape of a dead man on the wall of my cell. He’s been in his grave almost five years now, yet his shadow still lingers. He was no one and nothing. All that remains of him is a handful of old rape charges and a man-shaped pencil sketch. Perhaps it’s just superstition, but I can‘t help but feel that erasing it would be like erasing the fact that he ever existed. That may not be such a bad thing, all things considered, but I won’t be the one to do it.

 - Damien Echols, Life After Death

(Damien Echols was sentenced to death by the state of Arkansas in 1994 after being wrongly convicted of murder at the age of 19. He was released from prison in 2011)

Offering an exploration of drawing in its relation to gesture and the body, the exposition Dans ma cellule, une silhouette turns to the story of the daughter of the Corinthian potter Butades who, before her lover left on a long journey, “drew an outline of the shadow of his face as cast by the light of a lamp.”  If this seminal act, as told by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, has come to be considered as an allegory for the origin of drawing and painting, it is, at the same time, an invitation to renew our relation with the visible.

Through her act, the young woman refers us to that which remains invisible in the visible  in this instance her desire, which cannot reconcile itself in the image. What we see is, as such, always inhabited by the absence of what we cannot see, an absence that not only structures our vision, but also allows the advent of a potentiality or, as Jean-Luc Nancy explains,  “the indeterminate possibility of the possible as such, a potentiality of being [pouvoir Ítre] that is not the abstract form of a being that remains to be embodied, but is rather itself a modality and a consistence of being: a being of power [Ítre de pouvoir], the reality of momentum, of birth and beginning.”

Freed from the gaze and returned to a physical act, drawing opens up a multiplicity of forms and potentialities, as the works brought together for this exhibition testify. Drawing becomes alternately the inscription of a gesture, a repeated action or constraint, a narrative support, the means of a tactile exchange, the boundary of a theatrical space. Or else, drawing hallows itself out, empties itself, by erasure, comes to life. In each case what drawing reveals is the body itself: a body that lends itself less to being active, efficient or operative, than it does to a momentum through which it releases its sensuality.

Set_up

Birgitta Hosea setting up the work with the help of Anne Pietsch, Lore Gablier and the technical staff at La Ferme du Buisson.

SpaceView2Traion 1 (Ferme) 2014 (Maryclare Foá & Birgitta Hosea)
Material: Mixed Media (Graphite on paper, projected animation, chalk)
Dimensions variable

Artists Statement: 

Just as Butades’s daughter traced the outline of her lover before he left on a journey, so we (Foá & Hosea), following the same method, tracing round the shadows of our bodies cast by the electrical light onto the paper surface, attempt to hold time by fixing our shapes in place.

The multiple lines in this Traion (trace of presence in motion) also attempt to hold motion while leading into the gestured animated outlines of our digital shadows.

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Drawology

Drawology, 20 November – 6 December 2013, Bonington building, Nottingham Trent University

Included in the Drawology exhibition in Nottingham were three short film documentations of temporary drawings by Maryclare Foa.

Line Down Manhattan 6 2003 MFoa

Line Down Manhattan (2003) 7 :05 

An action: walking the length of Manhattan Island, dragging a chalk line from Broadway Bridge to Battery Park. The recorded sounds revealed (more than the images) the different communities and the material conditions of place- triggering my awareness of the vital and phenomenological affects of sound in relation to place.

House Hullerbank Hill 2006 MFoaHouse in Search of Belonging (2006) 13:20

A number of actions temporarily constructing a physical drawing of the outline of a house (from sticks), referencing Bachelard’s Dream House and a phenomenological response to locations associated with my life. ‘Through dreams the various dwelling places in our lives co–penetrate and retain the treasures of former days…’  (G. Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans M. Jolas, Boston: Beacon Press Books, 1969. p5).

Dissenters Driftsong 1 2009 MFoaThe Dissenters Driftsong (2009) 9:14

A multivoiced and collaborative vocal response to place (Bunhill Fields Cemetery), evidencing a sonic interaction between place and practitioner- this vocal drawing process is a phenomenological method employing the practitioners body as the drawing tool and the voice as material.

Artist’s Statement

Just as writing, singing, dancing, and scientific research (to name a few creative processes), are methods employed by practitioners to reinterpret, explore and investigate various phenomena, drawing is also employed by practitioners to reinterpret explore and investigate from the observing or imagining eye, ear and mind. In this way it may be said that the practitioner who employs drawing as a process may do so as a phenomenological enquiry.

During my PhD research; looking for evidence of interactions between outside environments and the practitioner while making work, I documented a number of different methods of drawing in response to place. I would define these drawings as having employed a phenomenological process because during the making of each drawing- whether walked, built or sung, a heightened awareness of the self in relation to place and vice versa was facilitated. The camera documented the different drawing processes, evidencing physiological, narrative, material, and emotional phenomena of the process, the context and the practitioner. And despite the temporary material of motion, trace, fleeting structure, and passing sound, the drawings contained within themselves the narrative and herstory of their own making.

Draw to Perform: Exploring the performance of drawing

Draw to Perform
]Performance Space[
London, December 2013
Curated by Ram Samocha

In this lecture a live and a virtual speaker performed, in conversation with each other and the audience, to open up the concept of performance drawing: expanding, gathering, attracting and amassing interdisciplinary and collaborative perspectives, that go beyond notions of paper, the permanent mark and the individual markmaker.

Image
Original Photo by M Neta

Maryclare Foa demonstrated, depicted and described a poetics of performance drawing while being virtually assisted, contradicted, instructed and animated by Birgitta Hosea, one of her collaborators in Performance Drawing Collective projects. Finally, the audience followed instructions given by the speakers to create a collective performance drawing.

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Draw to Perform

Draw to Perform is a three-day symposium on performance drawing curated by Ram Samocha at Arbeit Gallery and the ]Performance Space[ in Hackney Wick, London from 5-7 December 2013.

Carali McCall and Jane Grisewood will perform live on Thursday 6th December at the ]Performance Space[ between 6-10pm. Maryclare Foa and Birgitta Hosea will give a performative lecture as part of a series of discussions and talks about performance drawing on Saturday 7th December from 2-6pm at the ]Performance Space[.

For documentation of Carali McCall and Jane Grisewood’s performance see: http://janegrisewood.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/draw-to-perform.

Dialogues on Performance II: Drawing Performance – Performance Drawing

2-4pm, Weds 20th March, Central Saint Martins, London

As part of the ‘Making Knowledge’ exhibition at Central Saint Martins, which presents practice-based research by staff, Birgitta Hosea has curated one of a series of ‘Dialogues on Performance’ events on the theme of performance drawing. Five speakers from a range of disciplines will discuss very different types of work that they have created, which explore varied connections between drawing and performance. Steve Roberts, a traditional animator who specialises in animating in pencil, will talk about how his animation work is informed by acting techniques. Artist, Robert Luzar, will present conceptual work in which the body in motion imprints and enacts erasure. Rebecca Ross will show work that she does with students to program robots that make drawings in motion. Jenny Hayton and Graham West will show installation work in which architectural drawings are rendered through embroidery inspired by techniques from costume design. Maryclare Foa will present performance drawings created through sound.

For more information and to book a free place, go to: http://cfpresearchdop2.eventbrite.co.uk.

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Pictures from The Sense of Drawing: An Approach to Drawing, Marking and Experiencing Time

2011 IADE CONFERENCE
Senses and Sensibility in Lisbon
6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference, 6-8 October 2011
and Drawing Research Network Conference, 5 October 2011
Antigo Tribunal da Boa-Hora, Rua Nova do Almada, Lisbon, Portugal

Carali McCall and Jane Grisewood presented their paper, The Sense of Drawing: An Approach to Drawing, Marking and Experiencing Time, at the 6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference in Lisbon on 6 October. The paper discusses collaborative drawing practice through their work together and in the performance drawing collective with Birgitta Hosea and Maryclare Foá, focusing on two previous works that address drawing as way of knowing and communicating how the body traces and experiences duration. It references Fluxus, and engages with theories and concepts by Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty to develop the notion of becoming and the experience of the body in space and time.

In addition to the paper, on the preceding day at the DRN conference, Carali and Jane performed a new work that explores the physicality of ‘drawing a line’. Shifting beyond drawing that marks, testing the energy and reciprocity between their bodies in movement – and significantly shifting the idea of observational drawing to exploring the performative act of drawing. Joined to each other by 10 metres of latex band tied around their bodies their physical movements enabled a way of communicating. The stretch and pull of the band measured their distance and their location, while bringing awareness to the demands of the body drawing. Spontaneous movements re-directed and influenced the other – conflicting and negotiating. On each side of the room, they mimicked the movements of drawing the ancient tiles, both visually tracing and touching the walls to perform drawing – the line was drawn, the temporary material trace existed, but leaving no visible mark.

The event was held in the historic Antigo Tribunal da Boa-Hora centrally located in downtown Lisbon, alongside the design Biennale EXD’11. Originally built as a convent in 1633, it was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, later becoming Lisbon’s main courthouse for 165 years, closing in 2009. During the dictatorship years many important resistance fighters and political prisoners stood trial here. The ‘waiting’ room outside the courtroom, where Carali and Jane had just been in a life-drawing workshop, and unknown to them before, was the chosen space for their performance. The restraints and difficulties of drawing while tied together by the latex band were even more poignant and complex during the performance. Moving around the space physically tied together was collaboration, not just between the performers, but with the space, the audience and the history.

The Sense of Drawing: An Approach to Drawing, Marking and Experiencing Time

2011 IADE CONFERENCE
Senses and Sensibility in Lisbon
6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference, 6-8 October 2011
and Drawing Research Network Conference, 5 October 2011
IADE, Avenida D.Carlos 1,4, 1200-649, Lisbon, Portugal

Carali McCall and Jane Grisewood are presenting their paper, The Sense of Drawing: An Approach to Drawing, Marking and Experiencing Time, at the 6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference in Lisbon on 6 October. The paper discusses collaborative drawing practice through their work in the performance drawing collective with Birgitta Hosea and Maryclare Foá, focusing on two previous works that address drawing as way of knowing and communicating how the body traces and experiences duration. It references Fluxus, and engages with theories and concepts by Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty to develop the notion of becoming and the experience of the body in space and time.

In addition to the paper, on the preceding day at the DRN conference, Carali and Jane will be performing a new work that explores the physicality of ‘drawing a line’. Shifting beyond drawing that marks, it will test the energy and reciprocity between their bodies in movement.