Peculiar pleasures by Naomi Calvert
Thursday, 4 November 2010
i promised to take myself on a date. i wished i hadn’t when i walked to the train station in the cold fine spray of rain. getting the train back up the valley, pjs and a cup of tea would’ve been the easy option.
when an exhibition is called peculiar pleasures, it has my immediate interest. i had no idea what to expect, though i had a feeling it would be right up my street. enough to brave the rain and overly friendly taxi driver who told me about all the brothels in the area.
when i got to the milkwood gallery, my trials were compensated with a glass of red wine and smiling faces that i’d never seen, but instantly liked. a quick glance at the pieces on show and i was instantly gratified. i talked to perfect strangers about the unorthidox taxidermy on display. they didn’t know what it was either. although we agreed that it was very fever ray-esque.
a gorgeous breeze drifted a nicotine hit through the open door. i joined the petite gorgeous lady stood outside the doorway. it was Arianne Foks, the performance artist who flew over from france the day before. her stare was intense and her depiction of paris and antwerp made me long for my new home. i asked her about her performance of ‘i want to be your frog’. she didn’t give anything away. only that the weather was very froggy today and she liked it. if i wasn’t intrigued before, i bloody was now!
her performance was scary, sad and incredibly strong. it blew me away. her stare was hypnotic as she transformed into a frog like creature, sang i want to be your frog with course power. using chairs like robotic extensions of her feet, she dragged her self into the audience, blind. i love how every person watching was involved in her performance. you were faced with the choice of moving out of the way, or wanting to help her down the step. regardless, she powered through the bodies and delicate works of art.
i left with a huge smile on my face. and a truck load of inspiration. there will definitely be a second date with myself again soon.