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Gary Stevens

© Gary Stevens
2005 – 2007

Flock is an unstable, nebulous object that consists entirely of people in their own clothes. They are seen at a distance as they drift around a space or up close as they invade a room and threaten to envelop and engulf spectators.

They move as a mass with a strict programme governing their collective behaviour. This behaviour holds them together – like molecules; or like a herd of animals, a flock of birds, or a swarm of bees. The associations are never confirmed. The mass can sweep through a room or garden, wash over chairs and tables, adhere to furniture or bounce around an interior. This impression of a collective entity interacting – more or less intelligently – with a space is not created through the performance of the individuals but by their adherence to a set of common instructions and copying one another.

Architectural features, such as stairs, corridors or doorways, can change the shape of this amorphous group as it negotiates the space. A cascade of teeming and meandering bodies descending a staircase seems anarchic, dangerous and out of control. It may spill over the banisters, flow out of a window, climb walls or swamp items of furniture. It may become dense – approximating an elastic body (something like an amoeba) – or fluid, spreading and permeating the space like a gas. The concept has no fixed number of performers or a specific duration. It could have last for one and half hours or all day with a relay of performers replacing one another to sustain the group.

Originally developed as part of Art School exhibition, Bloomberg SPACE, London 2004, and further developed for different contexts including: In-presentable, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain, June 2005; ProArte Festival, St Petersburg, Russia September 2005; Variety, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, November 2005 and as part of Lost O, Ashford, 2007

Performed in Madrid by Florent Delval, Javier Pividal, Isabel De Nareran, Ana Sánchez, David Herráez, Encarnación Martinez, Lucia Mestre, Inmaculada Molina, Pablo Bushó, Paloma Garcia, Fernando Quesada, Marta Ambit, Cristina Blanco, Cláudia Müller

Performed in St Petersburg by Julia Asorgina, Katia Afanasieva, Nastia Babkina, Vika Bagutskaya, Natalia Vishnevetskaya, Olga Gringolds, Olga Dzhola, Katia Ershova, Olga Klip, Jana Majorova, Lena Petreeva, Liza Savchenko, Olga Salaheeva, Artem Satarov, Vadim Sidorov, Katia Skornjakova, Ksenia Sutormina, Nadia Fedenkova, Anton Hlabov, Lena Jurkevich

Performed in Bexhill on Sea by students of the Janice Blake dance school: Casey Clegg, Sophie Godfrey, Jane Hardingham, Maryann Hardingham, Rachel Garland, Jessica Sampson, Chloe Ames, Daisy Henchy, Sophie Carr, Charlotte Hoy, Elizabeth Noakes, Kathrine Noakes

© Gary Stevens