Week 2 – LIFT Archive List

Lecture Questions – How does an archive differ from embodied practices or the repertoire?

Today’s session was held at the University of Goldsmiths in New Cross Gate, the session was held within the special collections archive associated with LIFT. The days plan consisted of a short amount of individual study to research the background of LIFT, followed by a session in the Women’s Archives and concluding with a final session in the LIFT archive looking at sources from the archive.

Within the first session of individual study time I spent the time researching and finding out the meaning to LIFT. LIFT is the London International Festival of Theatre that started in 1981; London stands for ways to engage with the physical, social and cultural society. International provides the insight from historical and contemporary backgrounds, festival is an area for learning to play with ideas of transgression and theatre is the form of expression. Within the time from creation to current day the festival has completed over ten performances in the London area and much more associated with the area. LIFT provides the platform for creative work that is dealing with current issues within the world to be seen by society, most work is not of a typical theatre genre however this is something that makes LIFT so successful.

In the next session we were introduced to the women’s archive, produced by women to provide a source of information on past female performance that had previously never excited. Goldsmiths University now house this archive because of a lack of funding to the original creators and due to the benefits of the London location. Many of the work within the archive are more concerned with the practice of the project then the documentation that many a times this is an afterthought. Documentation gives the artist an opportunity to see what they work looks like though the lens of other people’s eyes and review their decisions before final performance however many of the works stored in the archive decided to not use documentation to its full capacity and so the slides available are only of their final work. During this part of the session we were introduced to Lucy X Exaqua who married a piece of her art because she felt so devoted to it.

For the final part of this session we were taken into a study room where Erica Campayne hosted a workshop involving some archival sources from the LIFT archive. To start the workshop she handed out artefacts associated with one event and we had to read the document to gain as much information as we could from it. My artefact was a play synopsis from the Ubu and the truth commission, split into five acts the play consisted of twenty six scenes, however this was the most I could gain from the synopsis as I later realised it was written in Italian. It was revealed as a group that the play we were studying was based on a war in South Africa and that the performance used puppets. To finish the session she showed us two props stored in the archive one from a Chinese water puppet show that was a fish made of wood and leather and the second was a badge made for the LIFT Company by a participant in one of their festivals. From today’s session it has become very clear that I would like to work with the Women’s archive and develop my interest in Lucy’s marriage further.

Performance research task– Creative response to the Artefacts

From the artefacts that I have found and the visit to the archive I have become very interested in the subject of marriage and the limitations of how far people can go before it is considered ridiculous. With this in mind I would like to research further in to the archives and explore marriage within a theatre setting and the power of a woman tying herself to an object instead of a person.

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