Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita by Glyn Davies-Marshall

October 24–26, 2006Toronto Free Gallery, 660 Queen Street East, Toronto

Presented by FADO at the 2006 7A*11D International Festival of Performance Art. Co-presented by Toronto Free Gallery.

FADO is pleased to announce the North American debut of Glyn Davies-Marshall, hailed as “one of the great undiscovered voices of British performance art” by Andre Stitt. Davies-Marshall’s durational performance trilogy, Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita, is an epic three-day journey through a complex terrain of personal history, private mythology, and post-colonial politics. Developing three distinct durational performance environments, Davies-Marshall will attempt to fashion his own “multi-faceted, self-sufficient promised land,” situated somewhere between the bleak reality of rural Britain in the second half of the Twentieth Century and a mythologized North American cowboy frontier fuelled by the plaintive songs of Glenn Campbell.

Artist’s Proposition by Glyn Davies-Marshall
Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita – The Final Frontier

Over the last two years my practice has developed at such a speed that I have found myself mentally shelving piece after piece. There have been a couple of instances where I have had the chance to experiment with, and work through many stored concepts on a physical level. These were by no means large scale performances, more like sketches in the hope of sorting out and beginning to put some order and clarification to new issues.

From the early nineties my work has dealt with my own symbolic order, colloquialisms, the words of my father, the stigma of a Northern upbringing and a persistent habit of perceiving situations in an overly romantic fashion. There have been developments and issues that have subconsciously infiltrated my practice and train of thought that have now become fundamental facets within my work. These include Colonialism, Dictatorship, the plight of those who are seeking asylum and a recollection of a place that I once called home.

I now need to get out of my system the above issues, combining live performance, song, soundtrack, video, the ongoing construction of an installation, all under the title of; Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita – The Final Frontier. I shall work through many contexts allowing my audience to approach the work at many different levels, some of which may involve their participation as I create my multi-faceted, self-sufficient promised land.

Statement (May 16, 2005)

I will now create with as much detail and clarity the whole journey up to press from ‘Wakefield to Wichita’ rather than showing snap shots, instances and influences from along the way in the hope of putting some things to rest.

I have resigned myself and know full well that I can never finish this journey as I don’t believe that I will ever be able to understand the teachings and the instructions given to me by my father. ‘The Symbolic Order’ after all contradicted its self; instead the words of my father would always include the mother and her importance, along with the importance of everyone around me regardless of creed and colour.

My childhood has left me disillusioned, it has never shown me how to hate but it has instructed me on many levels how people hate. It has taught me control but never how to control others in order to succeed. Yet back then in many cultures including West Yorkshire, now and for the last three hundred years deception, repression and the power to exploit and overthrow has been a fundamental facet of progress. If we cannot have it, then we will take it. My country is an ulterior motive, I’m proud to wear its flag on my ass.

Forgive me if I am unable to find the right order in which to lay down my text. This is how the information comes to me in short snippets, like running through slides on a projector, yet they come on many levels, sometimes the information is not too clear and although the actions or objects seem very random, they fit, but I don’t know why.

Wakefield is a place in West Yorkshire. I was beaten there. My Grandfather died in the mines there raising money for stately homes. My father lost his sight there but it was never dealt with, not properly. Wichita is a place mentioned in a Glen Campbell song. Its Sunday afternoon, I’m small, Dad’s been working, I can smell the plaster on his clothes.

Part 1: Palamino
October 24, 2006 @ 6:00–10:00pm

Part 2: Number 33
October 25, 2006 @ 4:00pm–10:00pm

Part 3: The Wichita Line Man is Still on the Line
October 26, 2006 @ 6:00pm–10:00pm

This performance was presented in FADO’s IDea series (2005–2007), curated by Paul Couillard.







Books & Ephemera

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer