We Were Waiting for You is an experimentation with telepathic communication and was presented at FLARE 3 in Vane Gallery, Newcastle on 4th May 2017. The participating artists were: Denys Blacker, Mireia Zantop, Lesley Yendell, Sabina Vilagut, Marta Vergonyós, Natàlia Espinet, Victoria Gray, Helena Hunter. Photos by Arto Polus.
For the preparation of the performance, each participating artist (5 in Catalonia and 2 in the UK) selected six objects that were packed into cabin-size suitcases to take on the journey to Newcastle. What is in each suitcase is only known by the artist who packed it. The suitcases were later shown along side the photographic documentation at Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre (Girona) as part of the exhibition Denys Blacker – Mapes Efimers; a retrospective show.
We Were Waiting for You, presents the audience with the chance to become involved in a performance, in which relationships can unfold without coercion, by personal choice. Anyone who has a question to ask, may take their place as a silent supplicant or instigator within the process. Their question is written down, but not shown to the performance group. The performance then unfolds in response to this secret question, hidden from view until afterwards and only known to the person who asks it.
Artists without knowing the question, begin to respond through improvised movements and sounds and by taking out and using selected objects from their suitcases. The only rule is that they should not move at all unless they have a strong compulsion to move. It is not a choice, it is a sensation, an intuition. Sometimes all the artists interact, sometimes only a few. Only those who experience the need to participate, participate.
The questioning person sits at a table with a paper and pen to take notes and an artist from the group sits next to them. She will also write. They have to write down everything they observe, without thinking, responding only to what they see unfolding in the performance.
The role of the performance artist as protagonist is transformed by the fact that the content and meaningfulness is given to the work by another person’s vision, formed in the particular question chosen by that person. The questioner take notes, a circumstantial testimonial in a style of writing that, by nature of its immediacy comes close to automatic writing or a stream of consciousness response. A witness from the performance group makes notes as well, in order to record only what they see. This is later shared with the audience. The question is also shared at the end of the performance if the person who asked it, so wishes. The two texts are read aloud, and a discussion takes place between audience and participants, sharing observations and interpretations of the actions that occurred.