‘So .. the Falling About lab was wonderful. Other than being able to connect with so many interesting people and to re-connect with some old friends, there seemed to be a particularly open atmosphere of enquiry. I am not sure if this comes about naturally when you put people in a room who have come there through a wealth of experiences (both personal and professional), but I felt strongly attached to the ease of communication. This was in stark contrast to the somewhat competitive atmosphere that can prevail in conventional conferences! In Foucault’s terms, you managed to create both a utopian and heterotopian space!’ Erica
‘… sharing such varying perspectives on one and the same topic was pretty inspiring’. Benni
‘I found the morning’s repeated fallings, particularly moving and nourishing: we had a great conversation in one of the small groups – that I couldn’t quite find the way of sharing at the end of the day, but wish that I had – about the film Gravity, the horror of non-falling and infinite suspension – there’s something in there about falling as a kind of home-coming. Wendy
‘It was so enlivening to attend the on falling round table discussion on Saturday evening. How exciting to hear from a group of such eloquent, articulate speakers, I feel profoundly touched and mentally excited by the nature of this project, which seems so unusually to dwell fundamentally both in the highly academic and physically embodied’. Zoe
PETA LILY has written about her intervention at the lab. the full text is on the ‘Writings’ page. Here is an excerpt:
When falling is funny – the success of failure
A Workshop Intervention in Clown for Emilyn Claid’s Falling event
‘With my intervention, I decided to put the ‘i’ in falling to share with the participants the gift the clown brings to humanity – the freedom to fail. The Masters of Clown – including Chaplin, Lupino Lane, Keystone Cops – have explored a ballet of skillful falls. I chose not to concentrate on the mechanics and craft of falling in my session, but on the ‘physiological’ / social connotations of falling: tripping, stumbling, making mistakes. Outside of Clown and, say, parachuting, falling is most often seen as a ‘fall from grace’, a kind of failing – anything from slightly embarrassing to something shameful or tragic’.
‘About Falling, Landing, Falling About’ is written by Alan Frank and reflects his experiences of taking part in Miranda Tufnell’s workshop ‘Landings’ and the research lab ‘Falling About’ facilitated by Emilyn Claid at Siobhan Davies Studios in December 2013.
Alan’s writing, in its entirety, is on the Writings page.
Here are two excerpts:
Our lives move in circles, we move between existential terrors that we try to mask. We know gravity will win in the end, we will die, we will fall down. So we rehearse; in films and books and plays and dance, we experience catharsis, we laugh at the clown and his banana skin.
Perhaps the fear of our oblivion is intensified as we stay in such a vulnerable state through the long period of gestation birth and infancy. Laing’s idea is that psychic fears haunt us through life; fear of landing and being sucked down or of not landing and floating away. And so we voyage through life, terrified of drifting and fearing the pull of the anchor. As individuals in our relationships, our work and our play we rehearse the cycle of letting go, of freedom, and of staying put, of the security of constraint. Until we finally have to let go of life itself.
Here is the link to the ‘study room guide to falling’ that Amy Sharrocks has created for Live Art Development Agency.
‘music, photos and films of as many artists’ falling works as I could gather, with a full bibliography of books & essays’ (Amy Sharrocks).
Charlie Fox offered an intervention at the Falling About lab. He gathered quotes from other participants to hang on a long ribbon from the top to the bottom of the staircase at Siobhan Davies Studios. These quotes are now on the Writings page.
A drawing by Hamish MacPherson from the weekend at Siobhan Davies / ID.
Do read this poignant writing by Adrian Heath field. Here is a fragment:
‘…You know how it is when you leave things undone: they soon come back to haunt you. “I am a magician and I have just read your essay on Cooper”, the invitation said. “I have the video. I wonder if you would like to see it?” and so I found myself drawn, but full of ambivalence, sitting on a stranger’s sofa drinking tea, waiting to watch Tommy Cooper die. …’
© A d r i a n H e a t h f i e l d, 2007. A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d.