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Bluecoat-Works
Works made in, and for, the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool, in its main building or in the temporary paces it has inhabited during its re-development, many of them during my period as Associate Artist in Live Art.
“The Mandayana” – installation with live interventions
The audience is free to inhabit Mandy’s boudoir with all its travel souvenirs and projected travel images. Eighteen times over the two days Mandy enters in one of her incarnations and reads a further story from the book “The Mandayana”. Each is heard read aloud on a recording. Live music plays. On one occasion a dancer enacts the story while it is read.
Here is the opening story of the series……..

…..the making of Mandy……

….he paused, and then he said,-

….there was a road, a straight road, it crossed the Great and Infinite Plain. Everywhere it crossed was Nothing.
By that road, in the middle of the Plain, was a patch of trees. From those trees, in every direction, there was Nothing to be seen. The great dusty Plain stretched around. The only shade to be found was under the trees and, in the shade, in the dust by the side of the road, lay a scatter of leavings from those who had stopped there, - a feather, some tiny pieces of broken glass, a scrap of silver foil, a smudge of rose-coloured powder, a scrap of golden hair.
It was silent there, not even the consoling sound of breeze could be heard.
And the road stretched away to the edge of sight, a narrowing of grey tarmac in both directions, - straight to the edge of Nothing. Above it all stretched the blue sky, empty of cloud. The sky had always been there.

Something was waiting.

In the distance, where the road met the edge of it all, appeared a smudge. A light, brown smudge. Very slowly it grew in size. Still in the line of the road but growing bigger with every long minute. At the centre of the smudge there was something hard, fast, - a vehicle was coming. It grew bigger, approaching the patch of trees. The dust swirled around it and rose like a fire. The vehicle came closer, it would pass the trees in a cloud at any moment, and then disappear slowly into Nothing again.

Suddenly….
Suddenly something moved – an animal? a dog? - the vehicle was here and something crossed the road, and the vehicle swerved in its great cloud of dust, and shook and jolted and tipped and righted itself and snaked back into straightness and speed with the sun in its cloud and left a loud horn-sound as it went. But something had gone, out into the Plain.

And the dust was still swirling and spinning from that swerve while the cloud settled around it. It didn’t settle, the dust, though, it spun and swirled faster, and then something spun it more and it swept up the dusty leavings by the road-side, up into its coil. It swirled and spun on in a tight cone as the vehicle became a smudge in the other distance, on its way back into Nothing. And in the cone appeared arms, then a body, legs turning on points, then a head, a head crowned with feathers, golden hair and feathers, and as the turning slowed at last the dust fell away and there she was, standing on her own, under the shade of a patch of trees in the middle of the Plain. In a shiny scrap of clothing, with a bright necklace, and a pink glow about her. Surprised and amazed to be there.

And so Mandy was made.

It was silent and the sky was empty. Then a bird laughed, - it sat in a tree and looked down and gave a loud bird-cry of laughing. The laugh echoed in the sky which had always been there and was always there to stretch over such things. And somewhere in the Plain something howled, and bared its teeth.

And there were black snakes on the road…..

 
“TVJB” – performance installation
The audience encounters a TV screen and CD player in a neutral public space. They are invited to choose music from the CD (as with a Juke-Box) and onscreen Mandy performs to the chosen music while they watch their choice. They can also go to the performance space and view the performance live (but not affect it).
In the Spring of 2005 I took “TVJB” to Barcelona and performed it on the Ramblas. Now I want to work on a “Global TVJB” for locations wherever I travel.
“N for Narcissus” – live installation
For three hours in the tiny enclosed window display space overlooking the Liverpool Bluecoat Garden an androgyne/potentially transgender figure is self-absorbed in making-up, phone-calls, looking at pictures, in a mirror, etc, calling up a number of references, - Nan Goldin’s photographs in “The Other Side”, the painting “Echo and Narcissus” by Alfred Waterhouse in the Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Still” series. Passers-by are invited to contribute their interpretations of the “Story “ in the living picture.
 
“Broken Meditation” - live installation

Members of the public are invited to a “Free Meditation Event”. When they enter the room they are given a sheet of guidance on meditation techniques and can sit and practice them seated in a space made harmonious by appropriate music, décor and lighting. In the centre of the space Mandy sits meditating, behind her projections of text expressing the thoughts which “break”, or have broken, her meditations in the past. In front of her is a bird-cage on a table. The visitors have been invited to write down any “wild” thoughts which break their meditations and place them in the cage. When they do so a bell rings and Mandy rises and walks a circuit of the space before sitting again. Entrance and exit is free.

“A Made-Up Life” – Performance with multi-media

Mandy sits at her dressing-table and tells the audience about her life. She makes-up a different Life each time she performs, and sometimes more than one life in a sitting, breaking off to involve the audience in “Mandy’s Make-up Tips”, and “Making Up With Mandy”.

A new 25-minuteversion of "A Made-Up Life" was premiered at the Emergency platform for Live Art work at the Manchester Grren Room. Very different in style and content it involves Mandy in relating four short made-up lives, and the piece involves Mandy lip-synching to her own voice, original texts, and the influence of Kabuki Theatre.

“An Artist’s Work Is Never Done” – Photo-project
Mandy is collecting a number of images of her work which illustrate the disciplines of her Live art work. Here is the image for “Being Practical”, taken for the collection on the performance day at the Bluecoat “Live Arts Association”, involving the other Bluecoat Associate Artists, Adrian Challis and Rebecca Reid.
 
The Torn Dress and other Window Actions
In the Spring of 2006 I carried out a number of actions in the window of the Liverpool Bluecoat’s temporary shop premises. As well as “Not....”
and “Mother Liverpool Mother Nature”,

I performed “The Torn Dress” in which I entered the window wearing a dress made of maps of Liverpool. Progressively over three hours I tore off sections of the dress and wrote word-by-word an improvised poem expressing feelings about the city’s make-over affixing them one by one to the window until it was covered and I was naked(?). Later in the year I performed local versions of the action in Copenhagen, as part of the city’s first Gay and Lesbian Arts Festival, and in Manchester at the Green Room as part of the Emergency Platform weekend.

 

 

The Great Make-Over
This was due to be a residency in the temporary Bluecoat space to comment on the major redevelopment opposite on Paradise Street but the redevelopers took back the building before it could happen and so it became a visit to the redevelopment site and a publication about the visit with text and photographs (by Leila Romaya and Paul McCann) called “The Great Make-Over”. The visit was also videoed. Copies of the publication are still available on request.

 

Queen Of Culture
Life gets busier for the Queen Of Culture as we approach 2008 and Liverpool’s year as Capital Of Culture.
The pictures below show me out and about as part of “The Great Make-Over”, the Liverpool Biennial opening day in September, and from a feature in “Space” magazine, the December/January issue. I also assisted at the launch of the 2008 Programme of Events in St George’s Hall in November, signing copies of “The Great Make-Over”.

Queen 1
[Picture credits – Leila Romaya and Paul McCann, Stephen McKay and Matt Ford]
 
 

The Live Art action
“CHAMBERWORK 1”
was performed at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, on Sunday 6th April at 1.00 p.m. by me to a strictly limited audience of 10 people. It will not be repeated.

It is intended that the action will be available to the wider public through the reports of those who witnessed it. The individual audience members have agreed to be contacted about it and they have each supplied details of how they are willing to be contacted.

Audience 1 – “Please send questions on a stamped-addressed
postcard to “Mandy Informer”, 90 Princes Road,
LIVERPOOL L8 8AD”
Audience 2 – “Call me at my Studio in Newcastle any time in May.
0191-261-6326. If I’m not in leave a message and I’ll
get back to you”
Audience 3 – “Postal enquiries sent to 60 Faulkner Street,
LIVERPOOL, L8 7QA will be answered until the 1st July
2008”
Audience 4 – “I will answer E-mails re this performance addressed to
groovin.records@virgin.net [Subject MANDY ROMERO]
until the end of the month”
Audience 5 – “e-mail info@thecrazyhog.co.uk”
Audience 6 – “e-mail siobhan@uwclub.net“
Audience 7 – “I will answer all e-mail enquiries about the performance sent to this address;
bryan.b@thebluecoat.org,uk until 30th April 2008”
Audience 8 – “You can put your request in an envelope marked “Richard” and hand it in to the
Bluecoat Box Office. Please leave details of how you’d like to receive my
response”
Audience 9 – “I can be e-mailed at katejf@hotmail.com“
Audience 10 – “I will answer all E-mail enquiries about the performance sent to this address
mrthorley@gmail.com”

Go here to see details of "Chamberwork 2"

On the same weekend "Happenstance" I gave the first performance of my China work "Kou" in its "China Story" version.

I've just completed my China Trip. To see all my works there

CLICK HERE

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