Seen in the Dusk – a performance event

Beatriz Lobo Britto – currently undertaking the MLitt in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) at the Glasgow School of Art, intern at GoMA

Seen in the Dusk was a one-day event that took place in Gallery 1 on the 7th March 2020. This project was a collaboration between the artists Jina Song and Martha Panagiotopolou, where they explored intersections between Greek and Korean Mythologies. The event consisted of a 17-minute long performance, presented three times, and an installation, which included a sound piece, moving image work and sculptural elements. The audience was also handed out a short publication that aims to translate the process of research made in collaboration between the two artists and their intersection of interests: myths, memory, how we perceive ourselves, and the understanding of nature as an entity. The event aimed to promote intercultural connections and myths as a form of knowledge, with a democratic nature, bringing elements of nature worship and its strong connection with womanhood. It celebrated respect, changes and cycles.

As a curatorial practice student, alongside with the experience of taking part in the creative process, I learned how to deal with the artists themselves. Both have very different personalities, needs and ways of communication. Although demanding, this experience made me realise how much I enjoy the challenge of working with ambitious artists. It became a constant process of assessing possibilities. Throughout the process, it was crucial to manage expectations, evaluate if the artists’ ideas were feasible and adjust our plans to make them a reality. In fact, this project went from a modest research project to an ambitious event at the busiest art gallery in the UK outside of London in terms of footfall. I can speak for myself and for both artists when I say that it was the most gratifying opportunity of our professional lives. We fully appreciate that GoMA’s team provided us with true freedom in terms of content and never questioned our ability to deliver the project. Any questions that were brought up were about the practicalities, so they could support us with the install, following health and safety procedures.

The three performance times were busy, having around fifty people for each presentation. The diversity of the audience was a topic that the artists and I have discussed several times. It was very important for us to make sure that the performance would be accessible for people with any sort of background, thus having the publication was a way to support and extend the event’s content. Around one hundred fifty copies of the publication were printed to hand out, with none left at the end of the day, which we considered a good sign. Furthermore, both artists were tagged on social media posts praising the performance, shared by members of the public. Although a small gesture, these examples of recognition seemed to impact the artists helping to build up their confidence and reconfirm that they were on the right path.

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