DIY: 2014 – The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein & Martin O’Brien ‘Is it a bird…? Is it a Plane…?’

A workshop investigating the potentials in the figure of the superhero for artists.

Project Summary:
This project considers the figure of the superhero and the ways in which this might be useful, to performance makers, for examining issues around marginalisation, vulnerability and the performance of identity. We are interested in the political potential of the superhero. This project considers the way in which this figure can offer a significant way of re-contextualising vulnerability or marginalisation as a form of political empowerment. We invite artists, through a three day workshop, to generate a superhero persona emerging from the nature of their practice. Each artist will then have the opportunity to use the superhero persona to create a series of still images with a professional photographer.  We will ask questions around what the comic book form might allow performance makers to achieve. The superhero allows agency over the body and a re-framing of the physiological factors that make them an ‘other’ within patriarchal society.

Dates, times and location(s):
Dates tbc. Location: Colchester Arts Centre.

Application procedure:
We are looking for five participants to commit to a three day workshop at Colchester Arts Centre. We welcome artists with any amount of experience and at any stage of their career. The important factor for selecting the participants is the way in which they demonstrate an existing practice which addresses issues related to body politics and representation. To apply please send a biography (100 words max) and a statement of interest (300 words max) which outlines how your practice relates to the themes of the project to Martin O’Brien and The Famous Lauren Barri-Holstein cc'ing Aaron Wright.    

Deadline, noon, Monday July 21st.

The artists:
Martin O’Brien’s practice focuses on physical endurance, disgust and hardship in relation to the fact he suffers from cystic fibrosis. He has been commissioned and funded by the Live Art Development Agency, Arts Council England and the British Council. He has presented work in Britain, Europe and the US. He has often collaborated with the pioneering performance artist Sheree Rose. Martin is currently in the final stages of completing an AHRC funded PhD at the University of Reading and is a visiting lecturer at several UK Universities. His work has been written about in several books and journals.

The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, also known as ‘The Famous,’ is a performance maker of large-scale, stage-based, disastrous feminist spectacles. Her work interrogates the agency of the displayed female body in contemporary feminism and performance, with a particular interest in the politicizing potential of ‘ugly’ affects, such as humiliation, boredom, and disgust. Her most recent work, Splat! premiered at The Barbican in April 2013 as the opening for SPILL Festival of Performance and was featured on BBC Radio 4’s popular show, Women’s Hour. She has been supported by Arts Council England, Laban Theatre, SPILL, and Live Art Development Agency, among others. Holstein is a college-funded PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London, is a visiting lecturer at various UK universities, and has authored several upcoming published articles.

The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein and Martin O'Brien

This project is part of DIY 11: 2014 and is supported by Colchester Arts Centre.

Banner image credit:

The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, image by Manuel Vason.

Part of DIY: 2014

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