this event may contain all manner of shocking material including swearing/violence/nudity
For 12 hours, Live Art Bistro are taking over ZOO Southside to present All These Things, an intense collection of performance art from 5pm-5am. I’m going to be live blogging the whole thing, with the help of as many of my talented friends I can manage to rope into this. The plan – if we make it to the end- is to climb Arthur’s Seat for sunrise (we have 46 minutes after the show to get up there). Any pals watching, dancing at Hive-til-five or those simply keen to wake up and go on an adventure, are of course very welcome.
Wish us luck.
KW – Kate Wyver
LW – Lilith Wozniak
ED – Emily Davis
BK – Ben Kulvichit
SP – Sam Patching
P.s. Anyone at the event – if you’re reading this and fancy joining in, DM me @katewvyer
Live art bingo:
Genitals (specifically something being pulled from vagina)
Body fluids which are not spit (3 points for each one) we guess vomit
Face paint and glitter
Popular pop time played ironically
Audience member invited to get naked
Complete darkness touching strangers
Food and drink offered as part of a performance
Foodstuff used sexually
(team effort in the queue)
There’s about fourty of us gathered in Zoo’s main theatre upstairs. We look like kids waiting to be taken on a school trip.
Anna Berndston is sitting at a table making a sandwich.
More people are creeping into the room, walking across the squeaky floor and clambering onto the wooden lecture steps.
As each new person joins their friends, they look at the woman squeezing mustard onto a piece of bread and then back at their friends, and I’ve rarely seen so many faces so clearly say: What the fuck have we got ourselves into? KW
There are a small dedicated group of hecklers. their complaints are mainly volume-related. ED
Lots of people seem a little lost, wondering or hanging around the corridors. The entrances are back to front and announcements minimal. Entering across stage and chairs removed from the bank. LW
In response to the hecklers the artists invites people to move closer. Many do. The hecklers do not. LW
‘Oh no, I forgot the cheese!’ ED
Anna Berndston is performing a score by Canadian artist Shannon Cochrane – she is making a triple decker ham and cheese sandwich. Soon she will unmake it and repeat ad infinitum. She is critiquing her performance as she makes the sandwich, occasionally citing art theory. She slices the ham and remarks on the shape of the ham not matching the shape of the bread.
Going on a snack run, anyone need anything? KW
Myself and Sam are directed out to a shopping container (where I’m pretty sure they kept everyone’s flyers last year?) It’s signposted ‘Ben Mills. In bad faith.’ Inside the container is an electric heater resting on two grocery crates, and a naked man on the floor shooting small balls of mush through a straw so they stick on the ceiling. For some reason it smells of bread? Like bread proving? ED
The sentence “no that’s for later, a snail inside a vagina thing” has been said KW
The entire venue seems hushed as people trynot to disturb quiet performances in the corridor, bar. Lots of whispered drinks orders.
A group gathered outside the darkened upstairs room. Rumbles within. Eventually we reach critical mass and peee round the corner.
‘oh hi, we’re just, can we let them in? Okay sure come in. Sit anywhere’
It looks really cool.
Lots of russian mystical vibes
So i went upstairs for two hours and joined a religion? LW
So Ben and I watched Samuel Kennedy’s Looks Like God downstairs. It was dark, lots of red light, smoke, his mouth held open with a dental dam, black liquid pouring from his mouth. Ben wasn’t too keen on the aesthetic and I get why, it’s a lot of HEY LOOK THIS IS A BAD THING. But I really enjoyed watching him fumble around on the floor with plugs and sockets, there’s a weird contrast between the full-on zombie performance and the carrying out of menial tasks like brushing his teeth. (I could smell the peppermint toothpaste.) For many people it was too close, he crawls into the audience at one point and triggered a medium-sized exodus. I was most shocked though, when after 50 minutes of semi-functional-limb-floor-crawling, he jumped up, took a few quick steps to the back of the stage and checked his phone. ED
Thoughts on Approaches to embodied Islam Deep Listening by Sara Zaltash:
– so as the title suggests i was barking up the wrong tree about the russian mysticism thing
– i feel like the show was about finding the connections between religion and the modern world but in a way which avoids lots of the pitfalls others have fallen into
– either shying away from the religiousness of religion or making it too silly overdoing the references and trying too hard to be ‘down with the kids’
– despite a line of prayer including ‘big up to your majesty and glory’ it all felt pretty heartfelt – constant switches between deep sincerity and mystycism and offhandness/everydayness
– my favourite bit was a delicate and beautiful call to prayer which lead into the prayer itself – a sing along from joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat LW
Karaoke has started LW
We’re currently trying to guess what the THING of the karaoke is
The first guess that his first song never ends has been proved wrong already.
Next guess there’s only one song on the machine?
All the songs are made up and singers have to guess what to do? LW
Both guesses have been proved wrong. Salome thinks maybe it’s just kareoke. Theory holding up so far LW
I think half way through something weird will happen ED
whooooooah the karaoke has stopped ED
going back to thinking about fomo i think theres just as much a sense of being scared of leaving something your at for fear of missing something really good as wanting to leave to see something else.
Increased by not knowing what is ‘supposed’ to be durational/ whats supposed to be watched as a whole and what as partial.
With the Zaltash i also got a sense of pigheaded ‘i have to stay to the end’ (a much lesser version of a friend who didn’t eat chocolate for 10 years after being dared – seeing if i could) LW
LILITH HAS BEEN XHOSEN TO BE GAFFA TAPED TO QUEEN MOJO
She’s singing ‘I wasn’t really looking for much more than some company on the dance floor’
She’s attaching people to her via ribbons and gaffa tape ED
I TOO WAS CHOSEN
‘If I asked her once what would she say, Is she willing? Can she play?’ ED
I think this is my favourite thing I’ve seen all night. She pulls reams and reams of ribbons out of her corset to tie herself to other people, who she leads around the room, up and over tables and chairs. Her song is a proposition then a plea, and I am so freaking enchanted by her dancing . It’s hilarious, but its also saying ‘please please please please please dance with me’. ED
something I’m loving about tonight is not looking up or planning anything so just floating into stuff having no idea LW
Saw Samuel Kennedy’s Looks Like God.
Room pumped full of haze, the only lighting is from practical LEDs, mostly red. One is strapped to Kennedy’s arm. He’s standing with his back to the audience. Big droney noisy soundscape.
He turns around, he has a large ring behind his lips which stretches them back and exposes the gums. The area around his lips is painted red. He’s a zombie.
Over the next hour he performs ritual actions, filling his mouth with black gunge, watching videos of explosions on a laptop, writing in piss-like liquid which glows under UV light. That kinda thing.
I really don’t get on with this aesthetic. The flashing lights, the unrelenting spectacle of it all. There’s something about it which feels surface deep in some way. Cooly posturing and divorced from the real, like I can’t find any way to relate it back to my experience of the world.
The obvious rejoinder to which is that it’s not for me. And I don’t think that’s anything really to do with race, gender, sexuality. I think it’s just a simple taste thing – but not one whose kind of… underlying ideology(?) I can fully articulate? There you go.
Anyway, there’s karaoke going on, why am I writing this instead of singing? BK
Lise Boucon’s snail vagina piece is super cool – she hasn’t done anything with the snails yet (they’re just happily munching on some lettuce) but there’s major karaoke sound bleed which is only making it better BK
similarly to the sound bleed love that it seems that none of the mess is cleared up between performances so it’s like their building up layers of detritus that effects the next LW
I’m super enjoying this. Boudin is moving/twisting/rolling impossibly slowly around a feast of crockery, tealights, lettuce leaves and white netting. She’s covered in chalk and water, her palms, feet and vagina painted bright red. It’s so delicately arranged but getting more and more messy the more she moves ED
I also love the difference of tones of all the pieces – partay to meditative LW
i swear i just saw a flame bend away from her as if it were avoiding burning her. Maybe I’m just delirious
SHES EATING THE CHAIR ED
upstairs seems to be some kind of summoning? Lots of shoes in a circle with a light by each one. Loud disturbing sound with a recording of a child going ‘bah’ LW
SNAIL LADY JUST ATE A LEAF BK
explaining to kate my earlier panic when i saw this tweet – https://twitter.com/rey_z/status/1029709053730152449?s=19
There is a former England goalkeeper called Neville Southall who has recently been found to be super woke (anti-Tory, anti-TERF, all round good guy). He does ‘takeovers’ on his blog where he lets charities\activists take over his account to reach a wider audience. Recently (which i didn’t know) he announced that an adult baby org(?) was going to do a takeover. Cue much complaint and it being cancelled.
Except of course when i saw that tweet my reaction was ‘WHAT SH!T THEATRE IS CANCELLED THIS IS THE WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN?!’
“It’s not a real hamster, right?” LW
several audience members have taken their clothes off ED
i have lost a competition to see how many marbles i can fit up my nose LW
we are now those audience members
You walk into a room. The room is dark with leaping flashes of red. There is mist and music – heavy on the bass, light on everything else. In the room, bodies are dancing. There’s lots of skin. Everyone’s taken their clothes off. There’s no feeling you have to, but it’s very welcome. You and your group get into various stages of undress. And you dance. KW
shit theatre have declared that it is nap time ED
We talk about how you police this kind of thing, and whether it should be. KW
All night there has been a conspicuous absence of front-of-house staff or policing. On one hand, this feels anarchic and trusting, but on the other, we feel slightly nervous about it ED
Two people have walked in with pillow cases on their head. On one is a picture of Rachel Stevens? On the other is a currently un-figured-out man KW
IT IS JACK AND DANI FROM LOVE ISLAND ED
So to take stock: we’re in the bar/creche. There are (mainly young) people in various stages of dress/undress. Some people are totally starkers, others completely dressed. A woman is getting her ear pierced on the left. Behind her, Jack and Dani are doing – god I’m really not sure. It looks quite sexual but they’re both wearing suits – and two girls are lying next to the ball pit (most of the balls are scattered across the floor now). Other people are gathered around the bar and we’ve all found each other again and are sitting on the steps, munching on snacks and admitting that actually we’re really quite tired and it feels like it’s dying down now. KW
Emily is currently drawing her fetish for jack and dani LW
Somewhere after 3 but before 5
And somewhere around there is where we leave it, with Emily drawing Charlie XX in a pantsuit. The evening feels like it’s drawing to a close and the dance floor’s clearing out.
We (half) plan on climbing Arthur’s Seat but it’s raining and we might die, so bed is a more attractive option. On the way back we say what a great and weird day that was, how everything was kind of boring in a nice way, and how rare it is to see a piece of art that you get to explore with a group of friends and then discuss at length. Cheers Zoo.