All These Things – 5pm-5am liveblog of Live Art Bistro takeover

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

 

17.14 

Live art bingo:

Cracked eggs

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

Line dance

Skin piercing

Food and drink offered as part of a performance

Foodstuff used sexually

(team effort in the queue)

17.30

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

17.31

I’m hungry
Do you think she’ll give me the sandwich if I ask for it SP
17.33
double stacked wow SP

17:36

There are a small dedicated group of hecklers. their complaints are mainly volume-related. ED

17.34

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

17.37

In response to the hecklers the artists invites people to move closer. Many do. The hecklers do not. LW

17: 39

‘Oh no, I forgot the cheese!’ ED

17:42

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.

BK

17.55

Ben n Lilith you just missed a Twist
A lady came in and just said ‘Anna, Stop’
Then they carried the table out ED
17.58
SP
18.01
The hecklers are dismounting SP
18.02
First bit o nakedness is over KW
18:03
Anna has changed into a frankly Exquisite red dress. The table is carried back in, now laden with charcoal, boiling water, hotel soap, two glass bowls, a bunch of lilies, a teapot ED
18:04
Emily makes the brave sacrifice to go read the score SP
18.05
does anyone understand it? KW
18:06
oh its just improv SP
18.09
Downstairs, an audience member is carrying a coat on one arm and off the other is dangling a nearly-naked man covered in gold leaf, with chillis pouring out of his mouth.
When he breathes the specks of gold leaf below his nostrils flap. KW
18.10
oh fuck he’s got needles in his forehead KW
18:12 
the gold-leaf-needle man had crawled away and stopped in the doorway. An audience member – actually no, he’s Zoo staff – tried to get past. A girl next to me whisper-chanted “under, under” but the man climbed over to get past. He got halfway there before the gold-leaf covered man curled himself around the man’s leg and held tight. KW
18:13
Charcoal is in play, I think this is about to heat up SP
18:15
I take back what I said about the charcoal we’re now getting colder if anything SP
18:16
Anna pours water on the charcoal and smears the surface soot over her wrists. She has wrapped a ball of wool around the lilies. There are about 15 people in the main house. ED
18:20
we’re heading your way to see gold leaf man pals ED

18:21

Going on a snack run, anyone need anything? KW

 

18:27

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

 

18.31

The sentence “no that’s for later, a snail inside a vagina thing” has been said KW

 

18.40
Even more than the rest of the fringe this feels like an exercise in resisting fomo. When you’re enjoying something constantly fighting the urge that you might enjoy something else more. LW
18.46
Thoughts on Composed by Rosa Postlethwaite: I really liked it.
Fittingly one of the first bits i saw was her comically explaining the rules and expectations of the audience – something that feels very up in the air tonight. ‘it explains everything on the programme but it’s too misty to read that. In the future you should memorise it’
One person cabaret vibes but no Cabaret.
Fave bit was ‘you are getting hot’ song
Whole other performance going on if you were sitting at the right angle to the door. A mostly naked guy dressed as a lion(?) crawling past the door several times finally hanging off a guy stood in the doorway. The guy did not seem into it. LW
18:46
gold leaf chilli man is hanging off someone in the foyer. He can’t hold his weight for longer than a few minutes and falls to the floor. A man walks out shouting ‘crazy people! You should call the police!’ ED
18.46
Went to inspect the container and turns out it smells like bread because he’s lying on a bed of dough. The bits he’s shooting through the straw are chunks of dough he picks out from underneath him. His skin – white, very pale but tinted red in the light of the heater – looks like an extension of the dough. It’s very warm. He’s there til midnight. KW
18.48
Also Em, the gold leaf man is called Nicholas Tee. He’s currently lying in the entrance entwined with a man, legs together, staring quite intently. KW
18:48
GET TO THE BAR NOW
Sandwich lady here SP
18.49
Sandwich lady is naked. KW
18.53
I’m enjoying thinking of the Anna Berndston piece as a Now That’s What I Call Live Art 64 compilation LW
18.54
she has a thick leaf stuck to the bottom of her foot and she’s just put a shoe on, that must be really annoying KW
19.01
I dont want to pass golden leaf man for fear of being grabbed SP
19.03
It’s okay he’s in quite a tight embrace rn KW
19.07
So far I’ve been in two things – Anna Berndston’s live art reperformances and Rosa Postlethwaite’s Composed. In both the performers speak very softly. In the former we were in the cavernous main hall – it’s a big lecture theatre-style space and the all the seating was taken out, leaving a large curved raised platform, on which audience members initially perched, legs dangling off the edge, Berndston sat at a table on floor level, speaking at a conversational volume, making her sandwich. It feels hugely weird and uncomfortable as the opening to 12 hours worth of live art. Cerebral, distanced, uncaring, clinical. Frankly boring, and not even in an interesting way.
Composed is in the Studio, a 50-ish seater on three sides. Postlethwaite wears a lapel mic, and speaks with a calm, disinterested tone, even lower than normal speaking volume. But here it’s appealing, intriguing, counterbalancing the performativity of her language (lots of the sections are based on presentational modes of address – thank yous to sponsors, press conferences, tannoy announcements) with a cool, anonymous blankness. It’s a fascinating performance – ambiguous, never coalescing, but watchable and accessible in its own way.
I’m struck at how much difference the tangible, architectural, acoustic dynamics make to the hospitality of these two pieces, which in form and content are no more or less alienating than the other, and both resist the mechanisms of entertainment. It occurs to me that must remember that the shape of rooms and buildings play a part in who is able to access art which doesn’t explicitly attempt to entertain – that gatekeeping is sometimes partly to do with what the gate looks like. BK

19.09

The entire venue seems hushed as people trynot to disturb quiet performances in the corridor, bar. Lots of whispered drinks orders.

LW

19.12

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

LW

19.23
Overheard from the cafe: I’ve been here two hours and it’s already the best thing I’ve seen at the fringe.” KW
19.30
I’ve passed Nicholas Tee in the corridor several times over the last half hour. By myself, he’s curious, a kind of active art exhibition that I know won’t touch me. He’s intimidating but at a distance. When I walk past him with Sam, Tee feels threatening. He’s only clinging onto men – hard, tight, heavy – it doesn’t look comfortable for the audience member.
A few minutes ago he was clinging to a middle-aged man with glasses. Leaning up against a wall, the man was grunting as Tee put his full weight on him. Their faces were inches apart, the chillis from Tee’s lips almost touching the man’s. Slowly, with direct eye contact, Tee reached up with one hand and pulled out one of the needles from his forehead. The man was trapped beneath him, blood starting to drip and the needle held by his eye. He manages to ungainly shove him off, and Tee slaps against the wall. He slides down and turns to face us again. His head is spilling blood. The man’s trousers are flecked with gold. KW
20.06
Nicholas Tee is in the cafe. He’s dribbling. He’s got a scalpel and he’s tracing a line down his chest.
The guy on the bar is paying no attention and just chatting to a man in the kitchen. Maybe best to not look behind him tbh. KW
21:04

So i went upstairs for two hours and joined a religion? LW

21:11

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

21:22

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

 

21.23

Karaoke has started LW

21.27

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

21.31

Both guesses have been proved wrong. Salome thinks maybe it’s just kareoke. Theory holding up so far LW

21:34

I think half way through something weird will happen ED

21:36

whooooooah the karaoke has stopped ED

21.24

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

21:38

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

21:51
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


21.51

something I’m loving about tonight is not looking up or planning anything so just floating into stuff having no idea LW

21:56

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

23:22

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

23.25

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

 

23:25

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

 

23.28

I also love the difference of tones of all the pieces – partay to meditative LW

 

23.29

i swear i just saw a flame bend away from her as if it were avoiding burning her. Maybe I’m just delirious

 

 

23.30

 

SHES EATING THE CHAIR ED

 

00.06

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

 

00.10 

SNAIL LADY JUST ATE A LEAF BK

 

00.11

Yah i saw her do that a whole hour ago
Eating leaves is so 23.00 LW
0:15
the lights are coming from phones and they’re turning off one by one
Ooooooh I think they’re all from audience members someone just picked theirs up and left ED
00.17
she is balancing a lid(?) on her crotch w snails on it and just carefully piured water onto it from a littls jug LW
00.18
There’s only six lights left from a full circle ED
00.21
a little flashback i think it is worth noting the minor breakdown several audience members (ie ben) went through watching the marco pierre white ‘authentic jamaican cooking’ in toni lewis’ piece LW
00.23
I wonder what she does with the snails at 5am KW
00:26
I am very much enjoying this format of watching live art. Wandering around, being able to text and talk during, the Commitment To Doing All Fucking Twelve Hours but it’s also pretty chill ED
0.25
SHE HELD FORWARD THE LID AND AN AUDIENCE MEMBER IS TAKING THE SNAILS OFF THE LID AND PLACKNG THEM BACKON HER BOSY
more are now dpimg the same god i hate uncontrolled audience interaction ARE THEY EVEN MEANT TO BE DOING THIS?! Live art is so stressful LW
00.29 
Snail show has now become the most popular show
Triumphing over karaoke SP
00.30
i really enjoy the waxkng and waning of different audiences almost as a show of it’s own LW
00:31
Maybe an audience member has to make a snail pun and then the piece is over SP
00.32
i was the first audience member she held out the lid of snails to but i wasn’t sure if it was an invitation or not and now i feel i’ve missed the boat :((( BK
00:32
WITHSNAIL & I. SP
[ video I don’t know how to add, one light left ]
00.34
SNAIL ON THE EYE, FOLKS BK
 0:34
LIGHTS ALL GONE ED
00.36
Someone just walked in, did a double take and walked back out KW
00.41
ear snails look a bit like a secret agent’s earpiece BK
00.45
The cat monologue from escaped alone but it’s snails ED
01.01
SNAIL IN MOUTH
SNAIL IN MOUTH
Does anyone want food if we’re moving? SP
 00.59

explaining to kate my earlier panic when i saw this tweet – https://twitter.com/rey_z/status/1029709053730152449?s=19

For context:

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?!’

01.07

 01.34
We’ve got snacks and moved ship with the party to Zoo Charteris. There’s an adult creche. At least half our group is considering getting their ears pierced by Sh!t Theatre. Even with holes in people’s bodies, it’s pretty low key for them. KW
 

01.37

“It’s not a real hamster, right?” LW

 

02:02

several audience members have taken their clothes off ED

 

02.16

i have lost a competition to see how many marbles i can fit up my nose LW

 

02.30

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

 

 

02:34

shit theatre have declared that it is nap time ED

 

02.46

We talk about how you police this kind of thing, and whether it should be. KW

 

02.47

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

 

02.48

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

 

02:55

IT IS JACK AND DANI FROM LOVE ISLAND ED

 

02.56

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

03.01

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.

 

 

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