Altered States, Performance Space, London

‘Hand To Mouth’, Altered States

Performance Space, London

 23rd-24th March 2012

I took part in a 3 day performance culminating in a durational public performance work over the course of 24 hours. This culminated in a 24 hour durational performance, ‘Hand To Mouth’

The first two days will consisted of a disciplined structure of physically demanding tasks and the development of performance work. I explored physical endurance to explore the possibility of creating work at the limits of human corporeality in an altered state of consciousness.

I undertook a series of exercises that work with the following techniques in relation to the body:
• Physical labour
• Intense physical activity
• Use of speed/exploitation of time
• Physical difficulty/ordeal
• Periods of fasting
• Periods of sleep deprivation

I was particularly interested in how these parameters influence outcomes and the comparison of such existence in extremis to my more instinctive embedding of aspects of endurance and repetition in my individual practice process.
For the first three days alongside a small, tight group of fellow artists, I examined aspects of mental and physical endurance through a series of simple primarily solitary tasks instructed by facilitator Martin O’Brien. We slept, ate, lived and worked in the gallery space, rarely leaving the site itself. Tasks included dawn-dusk ardour included standing on one leg for as long as possible, working in shifts to climb up and down a staircase, amassing materials from surroundings and manipulating them, being awaken in the dead of night to be ordered to rotate on hands and knees around a pole 50 times, blind group orientation… Individually, each task posed varying psychological and physical states of anxiety, self critical analysis and hardship. Some were painful, some even enjoyable- the night running in teams through Victoria Park and trust exercises were in fact elevating.

‘Crate’

On finding an object from outside the gallery on Hamlet Industrial Estate, I chose a blue crate, I was then informed to spend the next hour destroying it. I felt this task futile and impossible, tiring and irrelevant. Just looking at the crate with its unrelenting blue grid structure made me feel it a useless task of energy. I chose to use a screw I found on the floor and a lighter to make a small impact on the crate. I managed to pierce two holes. To this effect, I had still managed to alter it from the original complete form. I also had a cut and slightly burnt fingers, this made me dislike the crate even more.

From Kai-Oi Jay Yung, ‘Crate’, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung, ‘Crate’, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung, ‘Crate’, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung, ‘Crate’, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung, ‘Crate’, Altered States, Performance Space, London

‘Fallow’

I was asked to select some items from the food I had brought along with me to make a performance. I chose a tin of sweetcorn, an apple, a Breakaway bar, my implements were a corkscrew, an empty small jar and a plastic spoon.

From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London
From Kai-Oi Jay Yung ‘Fallow’ performance, Altered States, Performance Space, London

Exercises

Trying to locate the most tolerable positions…

On the whole, the tasks sought to dislocate time and I found myself more in tune with my own body rhythm, the group grew close over the course of the period with only one artist near breaking point and having to leave signaled by the tearing of his wall displayed contract.We were at once confined by pressure by ourselves, agreement with contract/objectives and reliance on each other, though the only thing I felt I needed to prove was that it’s not necessary for me to undergo such exercises to reach my ‘altered state’ for construction. It’s not to be understated though the value of such an experience and the heightening of awareness and physical senses as a result, and what this can bring to my live performative process.My own live action performative work culminating in my 24 hour ‘Hand To Mouth’ performance.

‘Hand To Mouth’ performance

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