[-empyre-] Artwork #8: Beth Collar - Brainstem Thinking

Daniel Lichtman danielp73 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 13:10:08 AEST 2018

-beth looks so nervous at the beginning. from a couple other performances I
know this is a thing of hers—it is so convincing. air of being
authentically possessed by outsiderness to the art context she’s working
in. Obviously this is not true, she is not an outsider. This is clear
because the piece is designed and executed with such precision.
-clutching the sculptural object. anxiety relation to object. hard to see
but maybe it's a model of some part of the brain.
-or it’s a slug.
-supermarket sandwich, knee-pads—a rough life
-SUCH confidence in how little happens in first minutes. despite look of
anxiety. the ‘air of authenticity’ i thought about before is so complicated
(and contrived—but it’s enticing and charming)
-is she breathing in or out making that noise
-sound amplification is very powerful. puts your body in the primitive
space of that sound. inside beth’s body.
-walking back and forth is funny, charming. hesitation reminds me so much
of sue tompkins, one of my favorite artists.
-is the vocal noise a chant, a religious noise
-heavy metal singing. the id. different parts of the brain talking to each
other. such confidence in the modulation of volume, pitch. sounds and
language so adolescent. or childish. or prenatal. or deathly. post-death.
sound made corporeal through amplification, though also turned into a
spectacle. the distancing achieved by the spectacle (rather than hearing
the voice directly) creates space to inhabit intellectually (via reason)
not just with the body. gives audience permission to reflect.
-repetition, physical challenge, suffering, pained use of voice—reminds me
of Sarah Michelson—another of my very favorite performers!!
-beth passes so fluidly between different states of maturity, struggle,
sense & none-sense, language & non-language. body and brain as echo-chamber
for voice as sound and voice as language. the brain really seems like a

On Sun, Jul 15, 2018 at 7:52 PM Daniel Lichtman <danielp73 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Beth Collar
> Brainstem Thinking
> Video Link: https://vimeo.com/232861610
> password: bread
> Beth Collar is an artist working predominantly in performance and
> sculpture or in the shared ground between them. She was born in Cambridge,
> England. Recent solo projects have been at Primary in Nottingham until the
> 4th August 2018 and Matt’s Gallery, London in May 2018 and Standpoint,
> London, 2017. Recent group shows and performances have been at Room E-10 27
> @ Centre, Berlin 2018, Cell Project Space, London 2018; Horse and Pony,
> Berlin, 2018; Cafe Oto, London, 2017; the Kunstverein München, Munich 2017;
> Kunstraum, London, 2017; Glasgow Women’s Library, Glasgow, 2016; Hester,
> New York, 2016; KW, Berlin, 2016; Fig 2, ICA, London, 2015; Cubitt, London;
> Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2015; Raven Row, London, 2015; the Serpentine
> Galleries, London, 2015 and Flat Time House, London, 2014. She was
> recipient of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2016/17.
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