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Timeline of performance art
FIONA LARKIN

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My introduction to making interactive work was a project titled: The Sandbagged Arse in 1998. The action involved walking about Belfast city wearing a kind of leatherette prosthesis. This was the first time I had considered using the street as a site for work. Orchestrating these interventions offered a number of different possibilities, primarily, active involvement with members of the public, also a real world context and a broader audience.

This work was then transplanted in a fairly raw form to the gallery. I made a number of extra prostheses so that the gallery audience might have active involvement too. Since then I have continued to use the high street as the space for staging work. In doing this, the work sets out to explore relationships between self and other. The level of interactivity is subtle, banal even, but manipulated by my actions. The actions themselves often masquerade as ordinary acts, falling in the street, asking impertinent questions at a bus stop or carrying a flag.

Often this occurs in the street between myself and a member of the public or 'unwitting participants' and the communication is provoked by my action. The action functions as a catalyst in soliciting response and engagement from the public.

In a more recent project, Wolfs Den 2012, the audience was invited to develop the work and add to the story by taking my camera and myself on a walk. That the observer/audience is somehow thwarted in accepting this offer is interesting. There is possible paradox, they can look and watch but also participate and therefore evolve the work by adding to the story. The nature of audience as something with agency, complicit in the making of the work offers heightened sense of self and awareness of surroundings, which I enjoy.

Though I set up potential for exchange I cannot determine what that might be as each person responds in their own individual way, therefore interaction focuses on unique isolated incidents which, when viewed as a whole, connect us.



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