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Event: Martin Creed: Words & Music

So, after a long day at the pottery studio Pam and I headed across to UCLan's Media Factory to attend an event. My friend Emma was nice enough to invite me along or else I may have missed this rather quirky performance.

There was a rather sizeable crowd waiting and the events organisers Derelict offered free drinks (for a little voluntary donation). There was a general buzzing vibe and anticipation.

This event is run as an accompaniment to the Martin Creed's current exhibition at the Harris Museum. I really didn't know what I was in for but, based on having visited this exhibition, the worst what could happen to us was to find out that Martin Creed had no sense of humour! Finding out that his art and installations were intended to be taken totally serious and at face value would have been devastating. I didn't need to have worried. His performance was fun and full of self-irony. Following his quirky and low-, one could even say off-, key performance of songs and monologues brought unexpected moments of laughter. Themes throughout his performance were his very personal view on communication, borders and relationships and most often his lack of understanding of these. The real charm was the everyday mundanity of these which most, especially my friend Emma, could relate to.

Martin Creed stood in front of a screen showing a series of montages of either just words or a series of images. That the technology of the uni's screening system defeated him only added to the general flair of ineptitude, which could have either been true to some extent or part of his act. His stage presence was dominated by a physical awkwardness as he mostly scrunched up his face, closed his eyes while delivering monologues along the line why he didn't understand communication. These ramblings were interrupted when he continued the themes in the lyrics of his songs to which he accompanied himself on his twelve-string guitar and harmonica.

This event was an unexpected pleasurable way to spend 90 minutes. Thanks, Emma.

What did I take away otherwise with regards to the MA in ceramics? Well, his analogy of borders as lines which cut things off and are dead did ring a bell after having spent some time during the day decorating my second figure and responding the the carved lines. It reminded me to continue my decorations across these carved borders to continue the flow of the piece to prevent it from becoming dead. This was obviously totally different from Martin Creeds intentions but I'm sure, in his maverick way, he'd appreciate that his performance has such diverse resonance even if totally unrelated. (Does this make sense? Well, it does to me.)


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