Mobius hosted a unique performance and drawing event this Sunday from 12-5. I Arrived around 2, so I missed the first performer, El Putnam, therefore my writeup will focus on Performance Artist, Syed Zaman, who performed “Love is Black” with Singer/Songwriter, Jennifer Matthews.
Mobius is a small venue, so the performance was intimate, with less than ten audience members. Viewers were encouraged to create drawings in response to the performance in progress. I’m used to simply observing or taking photos of performances, which always seems to require a slight, if momentary, mental and physical distancing from the performance to raise the camera and take the photo. Drawing in response to the performance on the other hand proved to be engaging through allowing viewers to express their responses to the action rather simply trying to document.
The performance began even while Zaman and Matthews were still setting up for the “official” performance – as each new item was added to and rearranged in the performance space, it became a part of the catalogue of physical elements that would shape the coming performance.
The performance officially began as Matthews began to play her guitar and Zaman climbed on a chair, wrapped himself in black fabric, and began to make charcoal marks on the paper tacked to the wall and floor.
As Zaman bent and twisted his body, creating an ever shifting net of cloth and string and charcoal, Matthews wove her voice into the web. Together they used shifts of musical motif and artistic media to create a flow of vignettes exploring the color and feeling of love. Black string became black cloth, became charcoal, became black paint, became red tissue paper, became red ink, became red string.
It was an interesting challenge to attempt to capture even a moment of the swiftly changing scene, my leisurely cataloging of the set-up process
gave way to form studies,
gave way to frantic explorations of line and space,
and finally re-formed into a representative moment.
A challenge, a way to focus, a fun afternoon – I highly recommend that you all try drawing to performance art ASAP.
More selections from drawing responses:
More about Mobius here.
Mobius on Facebook here.
More about Performing on Paper here.