I Will Host a House Party & the ridiculous
In February I took part in Response run by Abeerance – an online project connecting artists through creating a chain, responding to the work of a previous artist. My piece to draw upon was That which Within by Ville Valikoski.
What I loved most was the wryness. The intensity and commitment to performance juxtapose the editing choices brilliantly. And so this was a definite influence.
My mum had watched the film too and felt extremely moved and represented by Ville’s work, it had really encapsulated her experience of the last year. This initiated a question: where did this work, overlap with what I am interested in, and also, my experience of this last year?
It encouraged an exploration of my home space, in particular the places that are made for sitting. When someone stands up from the sofa, the sofa cushions remember. I have sat more than I thought possible. I don’t own a chair (retrospectively this might have been a good investment).
Early on in the pandemic I missed the physicality of my friends, and I started drawing them.
I also missed parties, which was a novelty for me as I often found them extremely uncomfortable and rarely attended.
My home as a space is inseparable from the people who inhabit it.
The combination of drawing, imagined parties, flatmates and friends became I Will Host a House Party.
I am primarily a dancer, but this became a series of black and white drawings. The images I chose are of adults, lying dramatically (in ways both natural and performative) on sofas, or wearing shiny single-use party hats from a set that is coming on for 7 years old.
You can view the whole series here.
My previous post Hugs and Audio Hugs ended with a hope of mine: ‘Comedy isn’t the goal, but I hope that if you don’t know me you can tell that there is humour involved.’ This statement is already foggy - both humour and comedy are interpretable and deeply personal. It does however show that humour is something I think about.
Realising an alignment in sense of humour is possibly the quickest way (besides being left-handed or having curly hair…) in which I initially bond with new people.
Regarding misconceptions on viewing contemporary dance, a big confusion for me is this need to understand the work, and a detachment or wasted time felt when audiences think that they are not ‘getting it’. I am sure there are many who would disagree, however I believe that there is more often than not, nothing really to ‘get’. Sometimes movement is just intriguing or beautiful or ridiculous…
I possibly shouldn’t admit the numerous times I have attempted to painfully contain giggles in silent auditoriums; and then ironically, found openly comic work less amusing. For many years I have been wondering why this is. Partly you could blame that desire to laugh increasing when you are not meant to make a sound. I can find it really difficult to stop laughing and have a list of times this humiliation has occurred in inappropriate places.
Another reason might be that the more serious something is, the more absurd it can become.
Often it is the context I find amusing.
I wondered what else in common the comedians or other artists that I appreciate the humour of the most had. This included: a matter of fact-ness, use of time that requires patience, subtlety and an element of absurdness or the surreal.
I realise that this probably influences the work I am involved in more than I first would have thought.