Lozt has undertaken two performances in MAFA Gallery and several street performances since he came back to the UK.
Lozt’s way of working is very different to mine and exploring the character is an interesting process which informs my practice in several ways.
We was talking to our friend and performer Ben Miller (who I performed with in Seoul but who now lives in the USA) about the differences between street performances and those in a gallery or other controlled environment.
The basic consensus between us was that performing in a pre-ordained environment is a two sided thing – it frees you because you are aware that the audience is more prepared for you and more likely to be receptive if they think it’s ART. However that makes it harder to get a certain kind of reaction because they are well inside their comfort zone. It is easier to feel ‘safe’ or put up boundaries between yourself and the performer/artwork in a gallery setting. Outside it is much easier to surprise but also easier to be ignored – there is also the risk factor of never knowing how the public will interact with you. However both have the potential to take on their own lives dependent on the artist/audience relationship.
In all, I feel Lozt will return to making street performances as an addendum to my practice as a whole to return to the playfulness, simplicity and non- or anti-art feel he had before.
To bring these performances together, here is a breakdown of the main ones Lozt has undertaken since coming to the UK, and my analysis of them.
Lozt – He gun’ die (M.A.S.H., MAFA Gallery)
Working with two other artists, we linked together 3 performances which were not negotiated before the collective performances began. Emma Starkey performed an endurance piece in which she stood naked but covered in Body paint and squeezed a squeaky toy intermittently. Robin Woodward performed a piece in which he was blinded by two silver discs on his eyes and fought against a rope intertwining him, a piece I felt referenced ideas about absurd struggle and powerlessness.
The pieces together formed an interesting tapestry of differing ideas which worked well in generating an environment. The residue left by the performance was also interesting in itself as a display of the remains of an action or a residue which I feel is intriguing.
Full video of all performances: https://youtu.be/NbG2uLVBqqE
Lozt’s performance only: https://youtu.be/hwzzwSAV5EA
Lozt performed ‘He Gun’ Die’, a piece in 3 acts
- Act 1: walking aimlessly in a bedsheet cloak and a dress repeating the phrase ‘are you my sect?’ (a sentence taken from the woman in the laundrette (‘go and find you fucking sect’, which Lozt agreed with and ran out to do so, the last time he was seen).
- Act 2: After using a megaphone to garble unintelligible noise, he then wrapped his head in plastic wrap, continuing to repeat ‘Are you my Sect’, drew a smily face on himself.
- Act 3: having demarked a ‘bed’ in the gallery, fell asleep for the duration of the rest of the performance, in torment or at peace?
Props were important in this performance.
- A cloak picked up from Brixton Market, a deliberately crass item giving him a refugee like appearance, the design a poor reproduction of a design.
- The three items on the table, a megaphone, a marker, and the plastic wrap all had their own significance which Lozt was keen to investigate.
Lozt is a performer obsessed with the meaning of props – the mask, costume, and so on, which themselves have great historical significance in performance art (in particular, Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic and Franko B) and this exploration was both an interesting thought experiment and also a grounding in the traditions of performance art, locating it firmly as an anchor against its cartoon like appearance. Performed in this over the top way, Lozt challenges the viewer to discover meaning and not simply accept a piece of ‘art’, and also challenges a notion of profundity and how it is presented.
Lozt invited performers and artists to take part in an ad hoc performance jam. Beginning with a poetry reading, other performers added their ideas to create backgrounds of sound with spoken word.
The main intention was to experiment with creating a context in which something can happen, rather than presenting anything in particular.
Lozt – Fools gold
– Stewart Lee
Using experience as a found object in the form of social media updates, this was to examine how we view ourselves and others, and how we treat what could be seen as precious items. Also to think about the duality of attitudes towards privacy simultaneous with the voluntary surrendering of the personal which often becomes simply moment fillers, a form of entertainment.
Lozt – How Dior Got its Mojo Back
I have written about this in another blog (as it was the first true performance in England). This piece was basically about comparisons of culture across contexts and the meaninglessness of it given that any idea of culture is not a ‘true picture’ but a snapshot at a point in time.
Edited video: https://youtu.be/h-aVhwCbBSs
Buckingham Palace full video: https://vimeo.com/240982498