How to Stop Worrying and Love (running)

KaiSyngTAN_Film_1

This interview is published on the UCL Art Museum blog

Working up to the event on Wed 26 Feb 6.30 – 7.30pm, held in UCL Art Museum.

On 26th February there is the chance to meet the artist and Slade School PhD Graduate Kai Syng Tan and take part in her experimental, multidisciplinary event based around the positive powers of running. This is the opportunity to learn about running as a potentially playful and subversive activity within an artistic framework.

Kai is sprinting forward with latest research that focuses on the body and its dialogue with technology and social media networks. Her website creatively communicates this unusual project, which is constantly evolving. Come expecting to be made curious, surprised and energized.

Intrigued to find out more before the event, I met up with Kai to talk about how her work explores notions of playfulness, natural endorphins and the meaning of life.

You have many different roles and identities, being an artist, educator and researcher. How do you see them interacting and influencing each other?

Many artists today have multiple identities. I have been an artist for nearly 20 years, but I have done many different things within this role. It involves showing my work in public spaces and online in spaces not always considered part of the art world. As a new media artist I have also had a parallel career; lecturing is how I bring home the bacon.  Continue reading

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Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth: The Limits of Desire and Dis-ease

A slightly different version was published on The Student Journals website in August, and is available here

Kenneth Branagh’s performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in “The Scottish Play”, as it is superstitiously referred to, was broadcast live on 20th July in cinemas nationwide. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to see this performance, just before tickets sold out both at the live venue and in cinema.

The play opened in the midst of battle, accompanied by an unforgiving rain shower, drenching all the actors and probably the front row of the live audience. The stage floor was covered with a thick layer of mud, which became increasingly slippery and malleable in the downpour – I was quite happy to be watching in the cinema, as the smell must have been incredibly pungent! This stench would have intentionally increased the live audience’s uneasy involvement in the world of the play, creating quite a different experience from watching it on the big screen.

The mud made the actresses’ dresses dirty, as though to indicate a contamination to virtue and honour in the increasingly soiled and rotting ‘body’ of the Scottish kingdom. Indeed, in this play, everything becomes tainted and sick. As well as the noticeable impact on clothing, the mud also affected the way the entire cast moved, indicating the physical effort with which they positioned themselves (literally and metaphorically) in their social spheres and interacted with one another.  Continue reading