Circa Review, Eire, issue 127, Spring Edition, 2009, ISSN 0263-9475
The following abstract is from the review I wrote of the Polish, Irish Performance art Show:
I find myself standing at the gates of Stranmillis teaching college awaiting a friend. We’re both going to I AM, a performance art event organised by Bbeyond. The event runs from 20th – 27th October 2008 and includes workshops and performances by visiting Polish, UK and local artists. Participating artists are: Birgit Salling Hansen, Leo Devlin, Christoff Gillen, Sinead Bhreathnach Cashell, Ula Darjeling, Colm Clarke, Paul King, Gordian Piec and Stanislaw Gajda, Anna Syczewska, Mark Greenwood, Dariusz Fodczuk, Stephen Dorothy and Chrissie Cadman, Magosia Butterwick, Wladyslaw Kazmierczak and Ewa Rybska, Artur Tajber, Bartosz Lukasiewicz, Arti Grabowski, Rainer Pagel, Hugh O’Donnell, and last but not least, Przemyslaw Kwiek. The event is split between two venues, Stranmillis College for the first half of the week and the Black Box for the final few days. On paper this is a mammoth event, and the problems of trying to squeeze it all into a thousand or so words for this article are not lost on me as I await my friend.
As we walk up the drive of Stranmillis college in search of the performance venue, which I know is somewhere on the campus, I can’t help but think that this is an odd venue for an art event, given how far away it is from Belfast’s normal centres of creative consumption. But perhaps it is a case of needs must as the devil drives; for while performance seems to be readily accepted as an artistic medium beyond these shores, in Belfast performance art still feels like the poor relation: the smack-head cousin that people still feel uncomfortable talking about. As such, finding a home for it in the heart of the city is, I’m sure, not always an easy task…
A full copy of this review is available in this edition of Circa