about:blank was Ashleigh’s first exploration of paper as a performance material.
about:blank questions what we expect from “performance” and what this complex term actually may mean in out current understanding of art culture.
As an artist with a background in Drama and Performance, Ashleigh has frequently found herself not being the main focus of her artworks, but instead envisioning the process of creation and the interaction the pieces have with their audience as performance instead. This is her non-live, live art.
about:blank is the result of a number of happenings. Blank happenings.
Blank pieces of paper are the starting point for essays, books, critiques – a document of knowledge and truth in waiting. It starts as the starting point for a document.
Blank pieces of paper left were around Northampton to act performatively as something to engage with. A live engagement that required nothing of my live body, simply a viewers engagement – held within them, their held “liveness”.
These blank pieces of performance then become their own performative document of performance. A document > performance > performance document > document.
The paper performance/documents were then collected and used to cover an entire black box studio from floor to ceiling. They have become another performance, one of absence.
In being presented in a space contextualised as “somewhere to perform” do these documents become performance, and can viewing them be understood experientially as a performance piece?
The final room took 208 man hours to create, with incredible help from Jack Conway, Tim Halliday and my beautifully unhelpful family members.