This year I have begun to exploit collaborative partnerships as a key method in my practice. I have interacted with a wide range of others fostering a participatory development within my performances of characters. These others have included knowing artist-collaborators, unknowing art viewing audiences and unknowing general public outside of art institutions. This participatory aspect has further demonstrated identity as multi-faceted – not only through the performance of different characters but also the manner in which we as individuals act in relation to others; differently in different situations with different types of people. This applies to the different facets that come to the fore between myself and a collaborator depending on whether they are male, female, younger, older, established artist or student. Multi-facet-ness also becomes evident when unknowing participants change how they react once they realize a character is not a real individual but a performance. For example, viewers have treated my chav character with suspicion when they believed them to be an alien within their art institution, but upon revelation of the ruse those same suspicious viewers have considered the piece critically and treated me warmly as a performer and ‘one of their own’. This conversion illustrates our susceptibility to social stereotyping and how we are directly instrumental in their perpetuation.

By relinquishing what Bourriaud terms the “divine-right authority” of the traditional artist I aim to negotiate open relations that are not pre-established thereby initiating un-authored, experimental and contingent collaborative processes.[1]Collaborators will be directly sought within the artist community to develop projects focusing on the chosen themes during level 1.

[1] Bourriaud, Nicolas, Relational Aesthetics (1998), in Claire Bishop, Participation, London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2006, p.166.

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