Wednesday, 15 September 2010

ONIZ at Horseplay!

ONIZ Performance Company were at Horseplay Live Arts event last night in Camden for the start of our process into creating a performance around the idea of flooding and water.
This first performance research installment looked at how an audience reacts to material we presented.
We became a fictional animal charity for the night; SOR - Save Our Relatives. In which we approached audiences members and engaged in a conversation about gorilla's, giving statistics and information about these animals. We then invited them to a playful adoption auction, where they could adopt a gorilla from the four case studies we had. Not for the exchange of money, but more to raise awareness in a fun spirit way for our charity.
During this process of our auction, we included flood images from recent Pakistan events but also the Cumbria floodings back in 2009, saying (in the same charity tone) that you could adopt someone from these two places also.

We weren't giving our opinion about animal adoption, or sponsoring a person, or even about auctioning. This performance was about gauging an audiences reaction from being lighthearted and 'cute' about gorilla's to having the same tone about recent natural events that have occurred.

What became interesting was some peoples reactions.

Some audiences members really became upset or showed their cared for the gorilla's, and wanted to find out more about where they are from, their names and if they get to see them etc.
Where there was one comment relating to the Cumbria image of; 'Do I get to know their name if I win them'- which struck me as their choice of words became really apparent.

Also from feedback from members of the audience who caught on to the device we were using, and said they became shocked that other spectators who choosing the Gorilla's to adopt and not someone from Pakistan.

Which I felt support my initial understanding that a majority of our society would rather help animals first, then other countries before a neighbour. Which I think feels more easy to do because their is a distance from yourself to the Charity, and is not 'on your doorstep'. Which I have to admit I've noticed in myself, in that I cant look at images of tortured animals, and yet I have become desensitised to human suffering through media images.

Ethically each audience member knew afterwards our process and that it was a performance piece, but hopefully they could see their own reactions within the event we held.

This is a beginning of our practical exploration, which I think is really beneficial to practically do a performance experiment to see how it is responded by a viewer.

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