Noel Meek + Elliot Vaughan
(Ōtautahi / Christchurch)
21 February 2024, 6.30pm
22-25 February 2024, 3.30pm daily - with a different score each day
From the mid-twentieth century onwards, walking has become a way for artists to explore relationships between body, sculpture, theory, and social relations in art. In particular, walking has been used as a way to escape institutional strictures in art, freeing practitioners from gallery architecture, weighty materials, and commercial restraints. To explore this, performers Noel Meek and Elliot Vaughan have commissioned new walking performance scores by Aotearoa artists John Vea, Louie Zalk-Neale (Ngāi te Rangi), Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu), and Sonya Lacey. With performances every day of The Performance Arcade, Meek and Vaughan hope to create a rich and challenging artistic ecology from within which they will extensively explore walking as an aesthetic and social action.
Noel Meek is a Pākehā musician, composer, and artist based in Ōtautahi. His interest is in finding meeting points with the non-human world and with te ao Māori in an effort to explore what decolonised works rooted in the whenua of Aotearoa might be. He has presented works with The Adam Art Gallery, St Paul St Gallery, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Tuhi, the Govett-Brewster, SCAPE Public Art, and the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki.
Elliot Vaughan is a composer and musician based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. He makes exploratory concert music, composed theatre, pop songs, performance art, and contributes to collaborative projects. He holds composition degrees from SFU (Vancouver) and Te Kōkī—NZSM. He plays with the Moth Quartet, and recently formed pop band Eigenface.
A New Score Each Day:
Wednesday 21 Feb, 7pm
A selection of microscores created by the composer-performers Noel Meek and Elliot Vaughan
Thursday 22 Feb, 3.30pm
Walking Score by John Vea
John has longstanding artistic interests in rules relating to labour and employment policies within the agricultural and factory landscapes in Aotearoa and abroad. This piece draws influence from moving image performance 'Concrete is as concrete doesn't, 2017', in which the artist reuses a small number of pavers to make a shifting fragment of path as they travel. Here, Noel and Elliot set off from Performance Arcade using 3 fence palings, enjoy a rigidly mandated lunch break, and return without touching the ground.
Friday 23 Feb, 3.30pm
Rauru Tī Kōuka by Louie Zalk-Neale (Ngāi Te Rangi, Pākehā)
Louie is a trans takatāpui artist who creates with the transformative power of body adornment. They generally perform their own work, inviting the public into their rituals and experiences, but this score is an invitation to others to undertake the tasks. Noel and Elliot twist tī kōuka leaves into a rope--something to wear, something to connect, something to shapeshift--and replicate a set of drawings in very large scale. They are for the trees, the harbour, the past, and the future.
Saturday 24 Feb, 3.30pm
Hīkoinga Tāwhaitia by Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu)
Rob is an anthropologist and composer, and his score presents research into now-forgotten ways Māori were able to travel long distances quickly and efficiently by foot in family groups. Directed by Rob's research, and connections drawn to other rhythmic, synchronised movement within ao Māori, the score invites Noel and Elliot to workshop possibilities for travelling long distances quickly on foot. It is a playful type of embodied research.
Sunday 25 Feb, 3.30pm
as if walking was not sleeping as if breathing as if copperzincironmagnesium by Sonya Lacey
Sonya has created an alloy of the metals commonly found in sleep aid pharmaceuticals, forging a set of small objects as instruments. The score charts movement and breathing data from 3:30-4:00am one particularly restless night, leaving the interpretation open to the performers. Sonya's wider practice features an ongoing, multifaceted study of the materials and processes of printing, and this score is printed with a custom ink made by artist Emma Cowan. The ink used here is made from iron, one of the key metals associated with improving sleep.