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'The Sedate', Stasis, 2018. Photo: Danny Cook

Something about decay, about consumerism and the city, about the demise of Goldbergs, about the ethics of Merchant City. Be suspicious of urban nostalgic idealising. The future is trash.

The idea came whilst on the rooftop of a car park. It wasn’t public, not sure those exist anymore, have ever existed. Could see wasteland from the roof, of operatic scale.

Thought it looked like a better stage than many real stages. Thought the city looked at its most beautiful from this height. Thought what if you could watch a performance from up here with opera spectacles. Concluded this would be impossible as not a public space but a private car park.

Read lots of articles and books on public/private space at Glasgow Women’s Library. Also read about public art. Asked what isn’t public art? Did not find answer. Intended to make new work with friends and collaborators. Seemed relevant to read theories of friendship and working friendships.

Thought about mother who was a management consultant and how she was employed to make people work better together in teams. Thought making a performance is like management consultancy: initiating a process, working with peers, hopefully bringing about a finished product.

In this case absolutely necessary to bring about a finished product as in essence a commission.

Thought can handle the pressure, we’ve done it before. Thought difficult to make performance visible to the public when behind closed doors of theatre or gallery. Thought paying for tickets is the biggest obstacle to people coming to see a performance. Thought would rather have a nice meal and maybe a dance oneself than go see others dance. Thought ‘Evictions, Art, and Spatial Politics’ article by Rosalyn Deutsche very dense but very helpful in trying to get to the bottom of the above thoughts.

Was recommended said article by sister. Took three days grappling with said article in Glasgow Women’s Library.

Thought a waste of my time as can be read outwith the reading week as an online resource. Thought have only one week.

Then thought this is the purpose of the reading week, to devote time to grappling with difficult material; quality over quantity.

As respite from said article read lots on feminism and fashion. Rehashing the lighter superficial quality of fashion theory??? Too bad. Has to be said as it was.

Thought we could lighten our aesthetic. Thought we could embrace more fashion. Thought about high heels. No one can dress in a way that signifies nothing.

Shared notes with Stasis (is it a girl gang?) and Ailie. Kept everyone on the same page. Loved Paloma’s responses to notes.

Thought she’s got it. Thought this is a good basis then for the residency at The Work Room.

Thought one week is not enough time to make a finished-enough outcome to show at the end of the residency for the commission. Thought we need at least another week.

Arranged another unfunded week at own studio. Began by having a chat on my sofa about where we were all at in our lives. Talked lots about anger, contraception, health, pointing the finger. Began warming up in the living room, pushing furniture back.

Thought not spending Creative Scotland’s money this week is good? Thought confused about funding.

Started working with Ailie’s music from day 1. Began messing around, comedic responses to the music, freeing ourselves of our darker tendencies. A contemporary wasteland is not a public space but a private space owned by a demolition contractor before builders begin work.  

Thought open up private space to the public as public space for the purpose of a performance. Thought about being on a night out with friends, having nowhere to go for a wee, losing shoes, starting a fight.

Becoming an old bag. Being put in a bag. Being a bag.

Thought about looking out for each other, being in it together.

It’s a problem to have to partake in the merry-go-round of competition: the competition with the self, with others, with applications, with funding bodies. Can you make a piece of work that seeks to undo competition within the group whilst partaking in these games? The intention behind the reading week was to settle ethical doubts but it has not had the chosen effect. It has generated more learning, has increased knowledge on various topics but has not provided answers.

Thought no place like home?

Suppose we all know that geography matters in the construction of gender. Imaginative geographies serve as building blocks to selfhood, social relations flood through spaces, inherently dynamic.

Thought social geometries of power are supposed to shift.

The observer of the world is observed. A key safety issue: darkening streets and disused spaces. Her contemporary cardboard box: the Ikea bag. She sings O Sole Mio in tenement back courts. She’s guilty of the crime of gossiping.

Bibliography:

Nuar Alsadir ‘At the Peephole’: 2017

bergman & Montgomery, ‘Friendship is a root of freedom’: 2017 

Celine Condorelli, The Company She Keeps: 2015 

Rosalyn Deutsche, ‘Evictions, Art and Spatial Politics’: 1998 

Angela McRobbie, Feminism and Youth Culture, from Jackie to Just Seventeen: 1991 

Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender: 1994 

Nuala Naughton, Glasgow’s East End, from Bishops to Barraboys : 2014 

Linda M Scott, Fresh Lipstick, Redressing Fashion and Feminism: 2005 

Daphne Spain, Gendered Spaces: 1992 

Gender Matters Roadmap, towards women’s equality in Scotland: 2017 

Only in Govan, a collection of Govan memories 

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‘The Sedate’ a short film directed, choreographed and styled by Stasis will be released online over the summer. The work will also be performed live at Merchant City Festival on 10 August. 

Aniela Piasecka lives in Glasgow and works between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Piasecka’s practice is choreographic and often collaborative. She works with sculptor Paloma Proudfoot under Proudfoot and Piasecka and as part of Stasis as well as with other visual artists, dancers and musicians. Recent collaborative works include ‘belittle’, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London (2017); ‘Letters’, The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2017); ‘Made To Be Broken’, Edinburgh International Art Festival (2016); and ‘The Jockey’, originally made at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (2015), also shown at Bloc Projects, Sheffield; Union Club Studios, London; and Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow (all 2016).