Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Performance with Golden Egg by Kate Barry

Q: Is the golden egg worth it?
A: That is always the question...

This is part of a conversation I overheard between an audience member and curator Adriana Disman while I was performing Performance with Golden Egg outside the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Saturday June 27. The performance involved pushing a raw egg for three and a half hours in the courtyard of the museum. I pushed the egg with my nose, while crawling on my hands and knees. 

This performance was part of LINK & PINS' series on Labour. LINK & PIN is a performance art series curated by Adriana Disman and currently housed out of Montreal's RATS 9 gallery. Last weekend seven artists performed six works that related to the theme of labour. The artists included myself, Johannes Zits, Kale Roberts, Nabeela Vega, Danny Gaudreault, LIDS (The Ladies' Invitational Deadbeat Society), Golboo Amani and Maggie Flynn. You can read more about these artists and their projects on the website: LINK & PIN

Needless to say, the idea of labour is a challenging and paradoxical issue for most artists. In Performance with Golden Egg, I want to speak to manual labour (pushing the golden egg) and its relationship to the economy (the golden egg). The piece attempts to emphasizes the dirty, sweaty and thankless position many working poor and working class people find themselves in with manual labour jobs. It also highlights a position many artists face as we try to survive Harper's cruel and brutal austerity measures that have diminished much of our cultural sector in Canada, leaving many of us jobless and poor. 

Performance with Golden Egg is not an easy performance to watch, nor is it easily understood. This type of artwork could only be a labour of love, or what Peggy Phelan might refer to as a labour of political resistance. What brought me to the LINK & PIN festival is the desire to support, and to be supported by a community of creative people that are willing to create political work and willing to have difficult and messy conversations. Festivals such as LINK & PIN are vital for people like myself who enjoy freedom of artistic expression and who can see the benefit(s) locating oneself on the outside. 

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