Collected from audience interviews by Ariana Jacob
“It was about relationships. Like with Linda Austen, she did the same dance, I think three times. The first time it was just her, the second time she did it with her sculptures, subtly, and then you felt you were rewarded, like, ‘oh, I recognize this dance, now it is clicking into place.’ The last time she started back-tracking through the movements the sculptures began to open up and do new things - connecting into each other.
In Karen Sherman’s piece it was her and two other dancers and each of them had their own separate struggle. There was one part where they had this conversation, that would turn in and out of an argument where they would keep switching places with each other. It was so relatable, they each traded their places, going back and forth in a triangular argument. They made some jokes, but they were not spoken jokes, they were situational. They kind of prodded the audience too, but we became like a stiff block. I don’t think there is any role the audience is supposed to have, we are just a blob.”
“The tedious moments were, perhaps, more extended in this year’s TBA than, perhaps, last year’s. I try to be generous towards tedium because I believe in not satisfying people’s expectations all the way – that it provides a way of making people feel themselves having to deal with being the audience. But maybe it is a too prevalent color in this festival circuit’s palette. I am not sure that the audience’s reaction to it is expanding from constant exposure.”
“The small casts, and sometimes the scope of what was being dealt with, felt very personal. I don’t mean this in a political way, but it didn’t seem like the goals of the performances were to stretch out into space. They were very much about the people on stag: their experiences and their lives, as opposed to commenting on larger issues.”
“There has been a lot of visual darkness throughout the festival, and that lends itself to tacking stock of your own situation as audience. I am also a performance maker, so I check in a lot with myself about ‘what is this doing for me in the moment as an audience member.’ There were a lot of awkward moments in relation to audience logistics, like when the woman came and tied the curtain and then told us the performance was over in the Miguel Gutierrez piece, but I like that.”
Ariana Jacob is an artist whose work focuses on conversation as shared subjective research. Her project Working/Not working: What do you do all day and how do you feel about what you do? is on view at the Littman Gallery as a part of the Emerging Tactics exhibition curated by Recess Gallery.