On August 9th and 10th, we hosted a durational performance art piece called NO-BODY-DRAMA by Leanne Hopper at the IF event at the Southside Studios. NO-BODY-DRAMA was live-streamed online for the full 24 hours as Leanne worked away, occasionally locking herself in the white studio.
During the project, Leanne wrote the following statement.
I want to become invisible in plain sight. I want to go through a process which allows me to look at the things I refuse to see as a means of protecting myself. Painful things. When I set out to do this I thought those things were external. The room I am in is located in Govanhill where I have my studio. I find it hard to equate the poverty and violence that occurs in this area with what I do – make art. I entered this process as a way of confronting that. What I have found so far, in the first couple of hours, is that I have been confronted by my own thoughts. Thoughts which are painful so I wilfully choose not to look at them. Internal violence.
At first I struggled to fight the compulsion to do something entertaining then I began to feel uncomfortable and paranoid about being watched, then a handful of poisonous thoughts came into my mind. I wanted to stop the process and leave the room. I felt trapped in this process and in this room even though the door is not locked. I have set the parameter that I wont leave the room until 7pm when the room is open to the public.
I went to sleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up I seemed to be more comfortable with the situation.
We all construct the reality we can live with to protect ourselves.
I am now around half way through. I have come to realise that I don’t like being alone. I spoke to a couple of people on the phone but it is no replacement for being in the same room as another person. I strongly believe that solitary confinement in prisons should be completely outlawed. It is a form of torture. I also believe that we need to insure all people are free of isolation. In the UK people who require medical or social support in their own homes regularly are left alone for days. This is cruel. Our culture encourages isolation and I now feel this is one of the worst aspects of our society. The emotional effect of this process so far has surprised me. I did not expect to be effected by this over such a short space of time. I feel as though I need, on a fundamental level, every human heart that is beating right now to keep beating. If I wasn’t experiencing this myself, if I were reading this rather than writing it, I would be sceptical of it. These are big statements and seem disproportionate, yet here it is. The word subaltern keeps appearing in my mind.
Leanne Hopper, August 10th 2013
Leanne also provided the following video links for context and information.