Open your eyes: working with my children on Sit with me for a moment and remember

Pinchbeck, Michael (2018) Open your eyes: working with my children on Sit with me for a moment and remember. Performance Research, 23 (1). pp. 113-116. ISSN 1352-8165

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2018.1460460

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Open your eyes: working with my children on Sit with me for a moment and remember

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Abstract

For the forthcoming Performance Research issue ‘On Children’, I reflect on a performance installation I recently created with two of my children – Dylan (8) and Lydia (5). A bench with a plaque reading Sit with me for a moment and remember is placed in a gallery and a live encounter takes place. It is both a dedication to a loved one and an invitation to a stranger. You are invited to sit on the bench to listen to a recording by Dylan and Lydia that reflects on what it means to sit for a moment and remember. A meditation on parenting and remembering, solitude and loss, the piece enacts an encounter with an absent friend or loved one. The text, spoken by my absent children, becomes a mediated presence and evokes a fleeting memory of someone you may have lost.

For this article, looking at the piece through the lens of performance installation and the process of making Practice as Research, I relate the piece to the writing on absence by Peggy Phelan, Jacques Derrida and Amelia Jones. I consider how it performs absence and, in doing so, evokes memories of presence, through the voices of children. Baudrillard said, ‘The child’s first relation to its toy is: how can I break it?’. Tim Etchells, Director of Forced Entertainment writes of their work: ‘we have this similar sort of relationship to theatre.’ This article seeks to unpack the inherently unpredictable dramaturgy and post-dramatic, ‘toy-breaking’ potential of working with children.

Keywords:Dramaturgy, Performance, Theatre, One-to-one, Absence, Loss, Installation, Audio, Memory, Commemoration
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:29006
Deposited On:13 Oct 2017 08:40

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