Hosted by artist run initiative EXIST and curated by Rebecca Cunningham and Nicola Morton, exist-ence is Brisbane’s premiere international festival dedicated to the presentation of live art, performance art and action art.
exist-ence illuminates Live Art practice, building long term links between Australian and international independent artists and researchers, whilst offering new and developing Brisbane audiences the opportunity to experience a stimulating and challenging program. Live Art performance, discourse, debate and discussion, creative development exchange, installation and exhibition are the key elements.
Navigating the perception of self, within and moving into a place, through the material, tactile and sonic qualities of a costume that extends the body via 40 3m-long carbon-fibre rods, Cunningham performs tentative actions of minute and enlarged scale, breathing, feeling, reaching and transferring into the walls, ceiling and floor of the Project Gallery space, and resonating with, or reacting to, data feeding back from the architectural and peopled surround.
Duration: 40 minutes
James Cunningham is a performance, movement and video artist, and the co-Artistic Director (with Suzon Fuks) of Igneous Inc., a Brisbane-based multimedia and performance company established in 1997 that has presented stage shows, performance-installations, video-dance works and networked/online performances in Australia, Europe (Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland), UK, Canada and India. He is an artist with a disability, having permanently paralysed his left arm in a motorbike accident in 92.
Recent live art performances include Anybody is Free to Do Nothing With The Artist (Exist artist residency at Room60 Backdoor space – June 2013), Slow Build (constructing a shelter with his “working” hand tied behind his back – Exist-ence 2011) and Still/City (participatory stillness event in an outdoor city location – SEAM 2011). Since 2007 he is creating a series of performance timelapse videos in built and natural environments, remaining motionless or in extreme slow motion over hours at a time.
His essay “Breathing the Walls”, which contextualises aspects of his performative practise and research, with Arakawa and Gins’ notions of body perception within architectural surrounds, was published in 2013 in Inflexions, a journal of research creation.