On Thursday 22 September as part of the evening programme in the salon of Mark Divo’s ‘inhabited sculpture’ at the Veletržní palác, we gave another Tagtool performance. This time, instead of projecting over the interior of the installation as we did at the opening, first I painted one of the big windows of the gallery with ‘Coolglass’ greenhouse shading paint. (Needless to say, I had tested this greenhouse shading, which when no longer needed easily can be removed with a dry duster, on one of our windows at home to make sure that it was suitable before I painted it all over the window in the National Gallery!) This thin film of greenhouse shading made it possible to project directly onto the glass and have the Tagtool drawings equally visible both from inside the gallery and outside – as can be seen in the three photos below.The evening’s performances, which drew quite a big and enthusiastic audience, began with a short violin recital by Heidi Johanna Vacek….….and continued with the Berlin performance artist Lady Gaby.Below – Lady Gaby is in conversation with DJ Miki (Mikuláš), two of whose new paintings in the show can be seen in the background of this photo.DJ Miki provided the music to accompany my drawing – and here is a selection of images, taken for me by Dima and Sam, from the session as it could be seen from outside of the gallery.As well as attracting the attention of passers by outside, inside the gallery there was a good audience for my performance, with people taking photos and asking how the Tagtool worked.
On Friday we left Austria and drove with Supra+ to the Czech Republic where we had been invited by the Lunchmeat crew to take part in the Freezefest Festival. This big alternative arts festival, now in its fourth year, takes place in the abandoned former military area of Milovice. It covers an enormous area with aircraft runways, hangars and all kinds of other military buildings in an advanced state of decay. On Saturday morning we arrived at the site, found a parking space for the van and spent the day wandering about in the sunshine, looking at the various stages and installations and exploring the empty buildings. (To get a larger image which shows much better the full impact of the stark contrast between the abandoned buildings and the temporary festival structures, click on the collage below).Some of the buildings that were in a better state of repair had been converted into performance spaces – in the photo you can see the ‘free stage’ where anyone could turn up and perform, but there was also a cinema in a nearby underground bunker and many different kinds of stalls and open air bars for food and drink.Lots of graffiti artists were at work, busily adding to the tags, images and large scale murals from the previous years’ festivals but I think my favourite was this rather faded image that I found on a stairway of one of the more remote buildings that we explored…. For their set Supra+ decided to play not on Lunchmeat’s ‘Freak Stage’ itself, but in front of the projection screens which they had set up on a bank next to the stage. This meant that the band would be in front of, and also could be included in my Tagtool drawing. Of course, all of their equipment had to be set up in the afternoon before it got too dark.Once it was really dark Dima set up the Tagtool and projectors so that I could do a bit of test drawing.By the time that Supra+ started to play a large and enthusiastic crowd had gathered. As well as setting up the video camera, Dima took a lot of close ups of the band.Supra+ line up: left to right, Max Bogner, Jan Linke, David ObenausI gave my little camera to our friend Sam to take some photos of my drawing. He took lots – so here is a selection!The white spot you can see at the top of this sequence of photos is the moon – but despite this the performance area was very, very dark – ideal conditions for Tagtooling!It was a long set, with the audience shouting for more at the end – which was great! The band played (and I also drew!) continuously for more than an hour. Dima made a recording of all of the performance and is now editing the video. He plans to upload it to Vimeo in sections – so I will be able to have some video for my next posting.
The photos below are some stills that I have captured for the blog from Dima’s video (that he hasn’t had time to edit yet!) of our performance at Fluc Wanne last week. As all these images are taken from a fixed position the huge difference that the Tagtool drawing makes to the lighting can clearly be seen.
I made the two collages of images below to try to show the progression and layering of the drawing process……
Now we are back from our travels it’s catch up time for the blog!
Last Wednesday we were invited to perform as part of the programme organised by Max Bogner at Fluc Wanne, a club in the centre of Vienna. We provided the visuals to accompany Max, who was playing with the band Dr Katz; Maki and Iink with Anneka Lund were Tagtooling with our friends Weisse Waende. This is Maki’s very nice Tagtool-drawn lettering announcing their performance. It was a really great evening with very interesting performances from all the groups – but it was a very difficult location for drawing! Most of the club is below ground, formed from a disused motorway underpass with mostly black painted concrete walls, a long narrow bar opening onto a square performance area and a steeply raked stage rising almost to the roof – great for atmosphere, but where to project, where to set up the Tagtools?
The only solution was to beam one projector on the wall alongside the stage with the other covering the performers and the narrow strip of wall to the ceiling behind the stage. Dima managed to find a corner to set up the video camera, but meantime here is a collage of stills that I took of Maki and Iink’s session with Weisse Waende.Here is one of the many photos that Dima took of Weisse Weande. Unfortunately he didn’t take any photos of my drawing, so many thanks to Maki, who took the photos below of the session.
We were invited to do a Tagtool performance at the opening of the exhibition, ‘Utopia on the Abyss’, curated by Mark Divo at the Veletržní palác. The music for the opening was played by the Swiss musician and composer, Martin Andersson and the performance took place within Mark’s ‘Inhabited Sculpture’ installation in the exhibition. As the photo above shows, because of the combination of the ambient light within the gallery and the fact that the projection area above Mark’s installation was painted a dark plum-grey colour, it was virtually impossible to create any really vibrant colour in the Tagtool drawing. This was a pity as I would have liked to produce some lighter and brighter images to accompany Martin’s most enjoyable and accomplished performance.
I only managed to take this one image during what was quite a long drawing session but below here is one of Dima’s photos and also the video that he made for me.
The Veletržní palác is the impressive Functionalist building that houses the 20C and 21C collections of the National Gallery of Prague. As the organiser of the international project, ‘Spare Time. Utopias on the Verge of Commonness’ which ‘focuses on those aspects of culture, which find a place beyond the borders of traditional institutions and genres in modern and post-modern times’, the gallery currently is hosting six exhibitions organised by curators from the participating countries. Click here for the link to all the information about this exhibition, which runs until 13 November.