Artist
Glyn Davies-Marshall

UK

Glyn Davies-Marshall is a performance and installation artist whose work has been presented throughout the UK as well as in Germany and Russia. He currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts and Stafford College.

Of his work, the artist writes: “From the early 1990s 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.”

Artist Andre Stitt describes him this way: “An artist who combines a unique understanding of process combined with the manipulation of objects and materials to create strange and secretive juxtapositions of reality. His work resonates with humour and gut wrenching pathos.”

Performance
Somewhere Between Wakefield and Wichita by Glyn Davies-Marshall

Co-presented with Toronto Free Gallery, in the context with the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art. This performance is part of FADO’s IDea series, curated by Paul Couillard.

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

Series
IDea

Curatorial Statement by Paul Couillard

Issues of identity are at the centre of IDea, FADO’s multi-year international performance art series. Chris Barker writes that cultural politics are about “the power to name; the power to represent common sense; the power to create ‘official versions’; and the power to represent the legitimate social world.” These powers speak to identity in a territorial, institutionalized framework, but performance practices offer the possibility of turning their presumed weaknesses—contingency, ephemerality and aterritoriality—into strengths, by offering a potentially decolonized, non-institutional forum.

The concept of identity has been at the forefront of art discourse since the 1980s. Performance artists have been particularly concerned with how our various identities are constructed, how they mark us and how they influence self-understanding. At the same time, artists have also used performance tactics to problematize and transform their identities. In recent years, the debate has shifted to examine identity issues in subtler, less didactic ways, using the territory of identity as a ground for complex and often ambivalent readings of subjectivity, hybridity and representation. IDea draws from this growing body of work.

The series considers a broad range of identity labels, including gender, skin colour, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, familial role, economic status, political affiliation and profession, to name a few of the more obvious possibilities. In blunt terms, the series will circulate around an underlying set of interrelated questions. How do we accept or resist these multiple identities? Which do we choose to embrace, and why? What identity labels are misleading, unhelpful or irrelevant, and in what ways? How do these labels intersect with one another? How do they determine the nature and quality of our lives? How do they contribute to a sense of belonging or alienation?

While these questions inform the series, they are only a contextualizing lens, not a prescription for how individual projects should or will be structured. IDea is not about representation, or the politics of difference, which is to say that the intention is not to assemble a collection that presents one of each kind. We are not encouraging strident political statements (though there is certainly room for them), but rather, featuring works that reveal something about how the creators understand and situate themselves. Along the way, we also hope to track how artists use performance tactics to circumvent prescribed attitudes and behaviours around identity.

IDea seeks to consider a range of bodily identities—physical, social, political, emotional, and spiritual. To provide further context for the series, commissioned critical that respond to each of the performances. These texts will come from an interdisciplinary variety of thinkers in the realms of philosophy, religion, politics and science.


The IDea series presented 12 performance projects between 2005–2007, and was curated by Paul Couillard.

Series Purple

An ode to FADO's history, Series Purple is composed of a collection of purple fragrance materials dating back to the Roman Empire. Dense, intense, and meandering, this fragrance tells us non-linear stories.

Top Notes

huckleberry, violet

Middle Notes

cassis, lilac, heliotrope

Base Notes

orris root, purple sage, labdanum