with the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool
with Tate Liverpool
|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
|Here is the opening story
of the series……..
…..the making of
….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
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.
Meditation” - live installation
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
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
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”.
|[Picture credits –
Leila Romaya and Paul McCann, Stephen McKay and Matt Ford]
Live Art action
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.
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
Audience 4 – “I will answer E-mails
re this performance addressed to
firstname.lastname@example.org [Subject MANDY ROMERO]
until the end of the month”
Audience 5 – “e-mail email@example.com”
Audience 6 – “e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org“
Audience 7 – “I will answer all
e-mail enquiries about the performance sent to this address;
email@example.com,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
Audience 9 – “I can be e-mailed
Audience 10 – “I will answer all
E-mail enquiries about the performance sent to this address
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"
just completed my China Trip. To see all my works there