Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Artist: Claire Cunningham

Scottish choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham conceived of the short and provocative piece Resemblance, embedded below, for the nonprofit 14-18 NOW, which has been working in partnership with arts organizations and artists throughout the United Kingdom, including musicians, painters, photographers, theatre directors, choreographers, and filmmakers, to present commissioned works for centenary commemorations of World War I. The work is appearing over a period equivalent to that of the war's own duration: August 2014, Anniversary of the Declaration of War; July 2016, Start of the Battle of the Somme; and November 2018, Centenary of the Armistice.

The solo piece below, with music by Zoe Irvine, raises numerous questions about the act of creation, who makes objects, and how we use what we make. As viewers will see, Cunningham ritualistically assembles a crutch, though she could just as easily be miming the step-by-step actions of a soldier assembling, or taking apart, his or her rifle. The film contrasts starkly the opposing notions of making and destroying.

Resemblance is part of a series, "Does It Matter?" (after the Siegried Sassoon poem "Does It Matter?"); the other shorts, each of which was screened in September 2014 at Southbank Centre, are Katherine Araniello's Oh! What a Lovely Lovely Ward, Jez Colborne's Soldiering On, Tony Heaton's Breathe Nothing of Slaughter, and Simon Mckeown's Ghosts. All the shorts may be viewed on YouTube or at the 1418 NOW site. 

Cunningham is a disabled artist, as are the other artists whose work is featured. Read David Pollock's article "Claire Cunningham on Staying Creative in a Climate of Fear" at WOW (August 11, 2015).

Check the 1418 NOW News page for updates and event information.

1418 NOW on FaceBook

Claire Cunningham on FaceBook

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