Performance & Installation Art

{We} are all Spect-Actors!

Augusto Boahl

Rooftops of Truro

[June ’10] Dance installation by Angela Praed on the Rooftops of Truro.

White Box Black Box

[April ’09] NEW WORKS @ The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall

New Works is a changing programme of exhibitions, performances and events in the Engine Room at The Exchange providing fresh opportunities for emerging regional artists to exhibit work and engage new audiences.

White Box Black Box considers the relationships between the black box of the theatre space and the white cube of the gallery.

Following the theory of Augusto Boal, the mastermind behind the Theatre of the Oppressed, that: ” All human beings are Actors (they act!) and Spectators (they observe!). They are Spect-Actors. ” – the interactive installation aims to playfully open possibilities of engaging with art as a way of seeing ourselves in everyday movement and inter-action. Placed in a theatre box to watch the world pass by we also watch ourselves.

Invited to think outside of the box the installation in the gallery is accompanied by texts and discussion, using theatre theories as a starting point to look at ideas raised by the work. 

“The theatrical language is the most essential human language. Everything that actors do, we do throughout our lives, always and everywhere. Actors talk, move, dress to suit the setting, express ideas, reveal passions ? just as we all do in our daily lives. The only difference is that actors are conscious that they are using the language of theatre, and are thus better able to turn it to their advantage, whereas the woman and man in the street do not know that they are speaking theatre? ” – from the book ‘Games for Actors and Non-Actors’ by Augusto Boal

YOU LOOK BUT WHAT DO YOU SEE? was a question visitors were asked inside the space of the installation, generally after spending some time with-in the black box. Read their answers here.


[Feb ’10] Biljana Lipic and Polly Motley

The Exchange gallery, Penzance – TRANSITION 9

An enquiry into the meaning of emotion in art.

Using theatre and performance theory, this project was about creating landscapes, images and rituals to explore issues of distance, whether physical or imagined, from home, family and culture. By juxtaposing elements of poetic with political, personal with social, and natural with cultural, we aimed to directly communicate specific emotions, like fear, grief, joy, via different senses. We also considered how different the role of ‘distance’ in everyday life is from its role in the creation of an artistic illusion.

Transition is an opportunity for artists to experiment for a week in a gallery setting. They can use the time and space to consider how a series of work is developing or to try out ideas for an installation or interactive project.

Transition provides visitors with unique access to creative processes that are usually hidden behind the closed doors of a studio.

Throughout the week the artists re-evaluate their work and respond to visitors’ comments. Each project is in a constant state of flux, without the constraints of a finalised exhibition.

Buenos Aires Social Club

[February ’08] A 5 day Tango art exhibition/event at Newlyn Art gallery, Cornwall.

Amanda Lorens worked in collaboration with a group of artists to curate and produce an exhibition that uses tango dancing as a means of exploring issues around intimacy and non verbal communication. The artists created work in a variety of media inc. drawing, video, performance, writing, sound, dance, music and photography.

The exhibition included live dance generated drawings, a tango confessional booth, live projections and much more.

Artists included: John Keys, Andy Wood, Biljana Lipic, Dominic Thomas and others.

Photographs by Amanda Lorens, Franscesca Ausenda