So today we found out that, for reasons outside our control, our performance at the Corn Exchange has been cancelled.
This has got me thinking about my work as an artist and the way it has been clashing with mainstream ideologies outside the artistic world of late.
In 2005 we toured a piece entitled White Out Conditions that featured a very stylized simulated sex scene. For me this was not alluring in any way: if anything it was grotesque and that was what I was interested in. It was also very sad, as it alluded to the inability to intimatelly connect with another person. But one of the theatres we toured to labelled it ‘perverted sex’ and attempted to get out of paying us the agred fee for the work.
Then in 2009 my work Involuntary Dances (where I attempted to induce an epileptic seizure) generated a very polarised opinion in the media world-wide, with epilepsy charities, individual people and the shadow government calling for it to be cancelled.
Now one of the planned performances of When Night Falls has been cancelled because it features nudity.
The ‘controversy’ associated to these works always came as a surprise to me. But now, on reflection, I find myself more and more thinking about the gap between a certain liberal ideology that we as artists share, and more mainstream ideologies which tend to be much more conservative. For me the difference between pornography and art is clear, but I have to conceed that for the mainstream public this is not so.
It is not that I was not aware of this before, but I never make an active decision to consider how my work was perceived outside experimental art circles whilst making it…
And so now I am considering it… Not that I have an intention to censor myself… But ultimately as an artist my role is to communicate, and the more I consider the different ideologies that people bring with them to my work, the better it will communicate. I think… Still thinking… What do you think??