Rock Video

Tate Britain, London, UK - October 2012

Performance burns up in its very performing and is gone. Its legacy may rely on the act of remembering. For Bodies of Memory, Tate Britain is inhabited by the collective recollections of many past performances, performed and spoken in passing fragments, rising and disappearing like memory itself. Its participants are an intergenerational group of performers, artists, writers, curators: people who witnessed something being done.
- Fiona Templeton

‘Rock Video’ is a performance for video, part of the larger performance event Bodies Of Memory curated by the artist and poet Fiona Templeton for Acts of Legacy at Tate Britain. For the piece, we recall acts of performance through mediation. First we recall, by re-staging, our own act of performing as rocks at the Shinto shrines of Ise Geku and Ise Naiku in Japan (Performance No. 11 and Performance No. 12 in Video Shakkei). For Bodies of Memory, we perform as rocks that signify as ‘sucking stones’ in the novel Malloy by Samuel Beckett. We are these stones inside a pocket inside a mouth inside this story by Beckett, who is performed by Bruce Nauman –  and is he is walking around his studio in an obsessive pattern. We intersperse our performance being rocks being pebbles and being Nauman being Beckett with iconic gestures from well-known performance art pieces that we have encountered through photography and video including: Vito Acconci masturbating under a platform; Carolee Schneeman removing a scroll from her vagina; Chris Burden being shot in the arm; Yoko Ono having her clothes cut off; Marina Abramovic being beautiful.

For the performance, we each carried a video camera up our sleeves and used this documentation to make our very own ‘Rock Video’. (Video forthcoming below.)