Naked As A Jaybird
This experiential workshop will focus on intimate encounters with our sensorial awareness and perceived thresholds, leading to shared creations of performative moments, cuts, and collages. As a group, and in pairs, as ourselves and in characters, we will experiment with physical contact and collective actions, intimacy and boundaries, through drawing, devising, and performing whilst considering relevant cultural and political backdrops. The weekend will provide room to begin to unpack performance’s ethos of liberation.
The starting point for this Weekender is Oreet Ashery’s wide interest in the ethos of performance as a marker of risk-taking and liberation from the restraints and values of the state, religion, homogeneity, artistic conventions and so forth. Looking back at three disparate counterculture groups from the 1960s-70s; Naked as a Jaybird (California), Collective Actions (Moscow) and Scratch Orchestra (London), aspects of DIY nakedness, actions, and experimental sound, will be considered in relation to the persistent ability of dissent to fail and to reinvent itself. With rightwing policies sweeping across Europe, this is an interesting and necessary time to revaluate performative modes of dissent.
This workshop has been devised specifically for the Weekender program run by Artsadmin and will be based loosely on the work of the Naked as a Jaybird group, and the story of one of its founders, Connie.
Maybe we changed the world a bit after all
Connie, Naked as a Jaybird, Taschen, 2002
Oreet Ashery is a Jerusalem-born, London-based, interdisciplinary visual artist. Her performative practice engages with socio-political paradigms and often includes participatory and delegated elements. Ashery’s work deals with identity politics and the interfacing of gender with race, religion, and economy, within a feminist discourse. She frequently produces work as a male character. These characters have included an orthodox Jewish man, an Arab man, a black man, a Norwegian postman, and a large farmer. Ashery’s research tends to deal with Jewishness as cultural material and in particular its relationships to Arab and Islamic cultures. Ashery exhibits, performs, publishes, and screens her work extensively in an international context and is currently an AHRC-funded fellow in the Drama Department at Queen Mary University.