Commodity Blaze presents Modification Chic for the Older Woman: Feb 2018
How Do I Look, GraceGraceGrace at Guest Projects

Modification Chic is the ultimate in make overs providing a unique look which is tailored to suit the individual and encapsulate their essence. Modification Chic explores how consumerism erodes away individuality by selling individuals a life style that they can buy into in order to make them thrive. As an older woman our insecurities on our looks and what is considered dressing in an age appropriate style are constantly prayed upon.

Commodity Blaze has her own take on how to kick back, rant, rave and rebel against this model. Complete with a unique look and manifesto she is encouraging women to join her and age fashionably on their own terms. In the age of the selfie and inhabiting a society were you can never be thin enough, young enough, blonde, blue eyed and white enough, we need all ammunition we can get. Commodity Blaze
February 2018

http://www.guestprojects.com/past/2018/2/6/how-do-i-look

https://www.facebook.com/graceandgraceandgrace/

 
The GILF Crest Files part 1 – VORTESSA: Feb 2018
Deep Trash Romance CUNTemporary, Bethnal Greens Working Men’s Club

VORTESSA was born out of a necessity to explore and create work concerning woman who arrive at the wrong side of fifty, encountering society which immediately marginalises them, removing their sexual currency, taking away their voice and rendering them invisible. During their recent work it has emerged that older women need to be nurtured, looked after, learn to love their gorgeous ageing bodies, inhabit a safe space to do so and be
valued.

Episode 1 Vortessa subvert the representation of the older femme fatale, they are companions, dressed as if on the deck of a cruise ship, out on the med, in one piece costumes, large dark glasses and leopard skin turbans, wearing dressing gowns they roll out their towels, remove their gowns, applying with aplomb generous amounts of sun tan lotion to their prone elegantly posed ageing bodies, melancholic conversation ensues, as they transform for those that see, before their (observer/audience) eyes, as high priestesses who darkly manifest romantic radical narcissism the magic, offering a glimpse of the between light and dark.

Entering threshold, unaware, or couldn’t care less of what is appropriate they continue reflecting and reminiscing till they perceive its time to go, where upon they get up put their dressing gowns back on, carefully packing up the creams, folding up their towels and slowly vacate the space. Leaving behind a vacuum expressing feelings of nostalgia, loss and the pain of longing to be loved and valued again.

DEEP TRASH RomanceSaturday 10 February 2018

https://helenavortex.wordpress.com/

 

Help The Aged DIY: Oct 2017
LADA and Lancaster Arts

Lead Artist – Giovanna Maria Casetta with Guest Artist – Helena Vortex and Participant Artists – Adele Longstaff, Nicola Carter, Clare Caswell, Jocelyn Cunning and Hayley Alessi. Documentation Liz Duggan

Help The Aged was inspired by Inspired by Pulp’s bleak landscape of old age, we set to explore the issues that are facing us, the older generation, asking why should we be condemned to a place of loneliness, poverty, labeled useless,rendered invisible and placed on the margins of society, for being the wrong side of fifty. The DIY project took place in Lancaster and Morecambe a perfect setting for A traditional sea side weekender, Fish and Chips, Bingo,Promenading on the Pier, discussing and rewriting the rules for (us) ageing artists with a punk/anarchic ethos.

Highlights of the DIY for myself and Helena were, the participants realisation of using architecture as a metaphor for ageing and how everybody fully engaged with the project and generously sharing their experiences of ageing. Ending up at a Steam Punk festival to look at a different model of ageing and realising we were visible for the wrong reasons, one of our participants was pulled up for wearing a plastic rain hood and told these did not exist in Victorian times! The Punk ethic at work. Participants documenting the project as this gives a collective and unique viewpoint of Help The Aged. And of course the day trip to Morecambe complete with fish and chips at Rita’s. And the hospitality of our generous hosts Leo Burtin, Lancaster Arts

https://www.lancasterarts.org/comment/help-the-aged

http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/opportunities/diy-14-2017-documentation/

https://helenavortex.wordpress.com/
Mayhem, Madness and the Menopause: May 2017
Fringe of Bath
The last performance as part of Sexcentenary, the invisibility of the ageing woman and making ourselves visible, through insubordinate acts being performed on an unsuspecting audience.
Mayhem, Madness and the Menopause – Those Little Things: Jan 2017
@Tender Loin #7 Steakhouse Live.

Exploring and scrutinising the ageing female body, making uncomfortable discoveries, realising your sexual currency is fading and you are being placed on the margins of society.

 

SPILL Festival of Performance: Oct 2016

It is exciting to be presenting my walking tour as part of SPILL 2016 I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the festival and experiencing so many wonderful events and witnessing ground breaking and innovative work.

Sweet Charity

Alternative Walking Tour

A little known fact, Ipswich has the largest amount of Charity Shops in Suffolk. There are treasures and bargains aplenty, ranging from the designer to the kitsch. The tour involves visiting my Top Ten Charity shops all located with in the Town Centre of Ipswich. Throughout the walk visitors will be encouraged to engage and discover from the stock available, what sort of people make up our rich and varied community that is Ipswich and through clothing and objects how our cultural landscape may be mapped. Every object has a history and story to be told. Sweet Charity will provide the tourist with a unique insight into an alternative Ipswich which is vibrant and flourishing and a chance to bag a bargain on route. At the end of the walk each tourist will be presented with a souvenir map of the charity shops that have been visited.

The Tour will last for 45mins. All the shops are located within a short walking distance of each other with good accessibility.

I am a self confessed obsessive and Charity Shop expert, since living in Ipswich (almost 25 years) I can map the town through it’s extensive range of second hand shops. A few years ago I decided to become an alternative consumer, buying the majority of products from Charity Shops. I have experience of managing projects, giving talks and lectures. The ability to present my knowledge and expertise in an engaging, informative and entertaining manner. A passion and excitement for being a “second hand rose” and a yearning to share these experiences.

Click here for Sweet Charity at SPILL

 

Illness and Disability in Radical Performance Practices Roundtable: Aug 2016
Martin O’Brien @ Pacitti Company Think Tank

This was an essential event to take part in as it highlighted issues that surround artists who make work despite their Illness or disability and how this has informed our practices and becomes part of the work.

Over the past few months, Martin O’Brien has been in residence in the SPILL Archive.
He has been researching the ways in which illness and disability have been represented and curated within SPILL Festival. Martin has developed a collection of works from all SPILL festivals to date, dealing with issues around illness and disability. This will be made public through SPILL and Disability Arts Online.

https://www.pacitticompany.com/search?q=illness+and+disability+in+radical+performance

 

Between Menopause and Old Age, Alternative Beauty: Nov 2015
Old Dears, London

Rocio Boliver and Collaborators:

A performance by Mexican artist Rocio Boliver and a group of women who have just taken part in her workshop on issues facing older women artists, like ageing bodies, disempowerment, and invisibility. Rocio describes her workshop as “demystifying “the horror of old age”, inventing my own deranged aesthetic and moral solutions for the “problem of age.” Come and see what this fearless group of warrior women got up to.

Collaborating artists: Katherine Araniello, Giovanna Maria Casetta, Katharine Meynell, Sheree Rose, Teresa Albor, Kate Clayton, Sarah Kent, Wanda Zyborska, Pascale Ciapp, Helena Waters.

http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/projects/old-dears-programme/

Tired of Being Forever 21: Nov 2015
An action Westfield Mall, Stratford, London
Ten woman, who are post-menopausal, take a nap in front of Forever 21. Heightening their invisibility as older women and refusing to be ignored.
A Descent Into Glamour: October 2015
First Site Gallery, Colchester (curator Anthony Roberts)

Restaged especially for the First Site Gallery. A fantastic space to perform this piece.

 

Retrospective Box Launch: April 2015

My Retrospective Box will be unveiled at the Pacitti Company​ Think Tank in Ipswich On Thursday the 9th of April at 7pm. It has been an incredible journey and project to have worked on. To mark this momentous occasion Manuel Vason and Cathy Butterworth are guest speakers and Anthony Roberts will be hosting.

The Retrospective Box revisits my artistic practice, documented through writings, conversations, images, film and artifacts. For the past year, I have been mentored by Robert Pacitti, and together we have explored ideas of how to “move”, represent and sustain my practice. Through these sessions the Retrospective Box, a valuable archive and important legacy, was born.

The Box contains contributions from some of the leading lights in Live Art including Franko B, Manuel Vason, Cathy Butterworth, Lois Keidan, and Anthony Roberts.

 

Moving Mountains Film Installation: 2015

A film installation by Robert Pacitti and Pacitti company – starring Angela Dawn Wright, Giovanna Maria Casetta, Rowan James, and Tonny.
World Premiere: July 2015. Commissioned as part of Moving Stories, a New Wolsey Theatre Agent for Change Project Funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Screened at SPILL London – October 2015

An exciting collaboration to be involved in, looking at my experiences of how living with a hidden disability constantly attracts prejudice on a daily basis. For camera I performed Earth Work making public the private rituals I have devised to keep me sane.

https://www.pacitticompany.com/past-work-home-page

 

A Descent into Glamour: Oct 2014

A Descent Into Glamour has been especially restaged for the SPILL Festival of Performance 2014 taking place on October the 29th in Ipswich. I am very excited about performing this piece again after a hiatus of seven years. Re visiting this work has opened up a critical dialogue exploring issues around the notions of femininity, feminism, control, visibility and ageing. Through this dialogue I am currently writing a Mythology of the work. Each time A Descent Into Glamour is performed it appears that the Pink Dress worn has gathered and continues to gather a life of its own almost separate to that of the creator and artist. Each mark and trace left behind on the dress has a unique story to tell.

A Descent Into Glamour was originally commissioned by Escalator Visual Arts East and Commissions East for the show Stay at the Great Eastern Hotel London – Supported by the Arts Council England and Commissions East.

Descent Into Glamour

 

Artist in Search of New Strategies

Artist in Search of New Strategies is a research and development project taking place from March 2014 to March 2015. This period of R&D is exploring strategies to sustain my artistic practice and take it into the next phase. For this project I am being mentored by Robert Pacitti – Artistic Director of the Pacitti Company.

Artist in Search of New Strategies is funded by Arts Council England

 

Ebook

I am currently compiling and collecting memories for the Ebook that will be launched in October 2015 The Ebook is an exciting part of the project. Re-reading memories and interviewing people about their experiences of the events has brought back to my mind many memorable moments of the performances. The Sound Artist, Colin Passfield, is working alongside me producing a soundscape to accompany the images and text.

 

Art Scene Investigators – On the Road

Art Scene Investigations will be hitting the road  2015 with a touring show. The shows will be a unique experience. Offering a new incarnation at each venue where it is staged.

Art Scene Investigators: Background

My current project stems from the fact that I am fascinated with all things forensic. Especially Locard’s principle “Every Contact Leaves a Trace” When these traces are collected they form a body of evidence, which builds up a picture and presents the viewer with a scientific account of events past. Our memories are often in conflict with this. Everyone remembers in a unique way and the witness accounts given of a particular event will more than often greatly differ in content. Memories are fragile and can be triggered by revisiting the scene of an event, being asked questions framed in a particular way, smells, visuals and sounds.

Art Scene Investigators explores the concepts around how we remember Live Art/Performance Events, why we only recall certain aspects, what triggers these and when presented with the physical evidence of what has taken place, how our perceptions may change? The last twelve months have been an exciting period researching, designing and producing a performance around this dichotomy. It has involved consulting with CSI at Think Forensic www.thinkforensic.co.uk and together with the creative producer undertaking a practical training session, exploring various forensic processes. Working with a Sound Artist, consulting with Lois Keidan – Live Arts DevelopementAgency www.thisisliveart.co.uk, performer Sheila Ghelani www.sheilaghelani.co.uk and interviewing audience members. From the evidence gathered an interactive performance has been created.

The Arts Scene Investigators team are Giovanna Maria Casetta, Sue Milnthorpe, Colin Passfield and Amy Sage

Art Scene Investigators is supported by the Escalator 2012 Live Art Programme run by Anthony Roberts, Colchester Arts Centre, and The Arts Council England.

 

 

Double Exposures: 2015                                                                 

I am one of the featured artists collaborating with renowned photographer Manuel Vason on the exciting project Double Exposures. The Double Exposures book Launch at the Tate Britain on 17th February 2015 is a definite date for the diary.  It has been a very exciting project for me to  be involved in and have the opportunity to work with Manuel Vason again. I am looking forward to being there.  The website for the project has recently been launched and is well worth a visit. Click here for details

 

Forensics At the Table @ The Pacitti Company Think Tank, Ipswich

The evening proved to be an exciting success. The Guest speaker Lois Keidan began the proceedings talking about the recent experience of having to select a series of images for a Live Art publication and the memories evoked of the performances that had taken place from revisiting the photographs. As Lois was speaking the CSI Sue Procter and Jo Mallard from Think Forensic did a sweep of the building tracing the footsteps of the audience, gathering evidence as they went.

The guests were surprised at the discoveries made and this has been referred to in their collected memories – “a heeltap left that betrayed me” and “lipstick traces will always give you away.” Some of the guests volunteered to have fibers taken from their clothes and anaylised under the microscope, one fiber revealed that a guest had been in close proximity to a sheep, how and why has not been disclosed, the jury is still out on this one.

Everyone enjoyed the interactive and nature of the supper and left wanting more “ I wanted more interaction between the protagonists and the supper guests. I would have liked more analysis and testing to have been done on the spot, may be at the supper table as part of the supper (what were we eating?)” The scientific and the visual inspired memories “The two ladies from the CSI team were brilliant – so informative, I learnt a lot. Really interesting to hear about their cool, systematic and forensic approach yet they were so human, like your favorite aunties and yet their job required them to be detached and very methodical. Their role in court proceedings was also very interesting. They were very aware of their responsibility, and how any mistakes they made could have very real consequences for the accused. I remember the embroidered napkins too; I think mine had the outline of a figure in red from a crime scene – very CSI. A lovely visual touch.”

The evening from my perspective was very inspiring and I am currently enjoying working with the physical and remembered evidence of this event.

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Forensic at the Table – The Installation

11.am to 4pm, 24th and 25th May @ The Pacitti Company Think Tank – www.pacitti.com

Examining and collating the visual, physical and audio from the evening was a vast undertaking. The team worked very hard to ensure that at the end of the day a visual and audio landscape presented itself, a still life evoking memories of the Forensic Supper that had taken place on the proceeding evening. The sound scape and physical evidence on view provided an eerie setting for the real and imagined of what had happened.

I would like to say a big thank you to the Pacitti Company – Robert Pacitti- James Gory and Jules Devonshire  – The Artsi Team – Sue Milnthorpe, Colin Passfield, Michaela Casetta, Amy Sage, Sebastian Shallcross and Dave Gregory – Lois Keidan and Think Forensics who all made this event a success.

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Performance at Colchester Arts Centre: 7th of March 2013

The main memories from the evening turned out to be those around the social occasion of the event. Others included dressing up in the crime suit and being part of the team. When asking leading questions I was surprised with the answers, as the staged events around the performance had mainly gone unnoticed. Other occurrences which had not been staged I was asked about and questioned as to weather they had been staged. This is a really interesting concept about how we remember and relate memories to an Event.

The amount of evidence gathered was phenomenal and I am still collating and photographing! I have been preparing microscopic slides of fluids, hair and fibres. One piece of evidence has been evolving in form; arriving home after the performance I had a beer bottle with a small amount of beer in it. The beer has beautifully fermented, with a thin mould forming on the top. Definitely one for the microscope.

Two pieces of evidence are firmly ingrained in my memory a finger nail clipping and a phone number, the investigator who found the number dialled it and engaged in an interesting conversation. There are a number of coincidences around this phone call, to be revealed at a later date.

I asked people to write down what three words would sum up their experience of the event: This is a Random selection

Clinical
Engrossing
Unique
Engaging
Exciting
Rubbish
Fun
Focused
Enlightening
Thoughtful
Different
Inconclusive
CSI
Frustrating
Eerie

Following the performance at Colchester I have a plethora of new ideas to explore and develop for future performances. This is a very exciting time for Art Scene Investigators.

And a big thank you to Anthony Roberts and all the staff at Colchester Arts Centre, the performers, the Art Scene Investigators team and of course the audience.

 Art Scene Investigators

Art Scene Investigators is being premiered at Colchester Arts Centre on the 7th of March 2013. Using a range of forensic processes to gather the evidence, this interactive performance promises to challenge your perception of an event, test your memory and, through cold scientific reasoning, find out what really took place at the previous night’s performance. It is advisable to attend the performance taking place on the 6th March 2013 but not essential. For details of booking please contact Colchester Arts Centre (Tel: 01206 500900)

The Arts Scene Investigators team are Giovanna Maria Casetta, Sue Milnthorpe, Colin Passfield and Amy Sage

Art Scene Investigators is supported by the Escalator 2012 Live Art Programme run by Anthony Roberts, Colchester Arts Centre, and The Arts Council England.

Flicker

My film “ The Death of The Non Blonde Blonde” part one a Celebration, is being shown as part of the exhibition “Flicker” at Smiths Row Gallery, Bury St Edmunds, which celebrates the use of 8mm film and those that use this medium to create work. Click here for details.

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The Anatomy of a Performance

The Anatomy of a Performance was a research project which investigated how we remember and recall performance/ Live Art Events and how these memories are unique to the individual. An important aspect of this research was how the physical remains can be evidenced to show and confirm that a performance/ live art event has taken place and in turn how this evidence can stimulate the memory. During my research I decided to look at forensic processes both the physical and psychological used by crime scene investigators and discover the possibilities of applying these to Live Art Events. The answer being yes it is possible. What stands out from the research is that indeed our memories are unique, one audience member commented, “I can’t remember anything, I need time to think about this” at being interviewed straight after event. There is a strong sense that our memories are effected by the mood we are in when we attend a performance:

Yes your experience is never just that of the work itself but is always tempered, or influenced, by your own state of mind at the time…its like Alain De Botton’s idea of going on holiday to get away from your grumpy self only to realise that your grumpy self has gone with you. You cannot disassociate yourself from yourself when you see performance.” Lois Keidan – Live Art Development Agency

And the fact that physical traces are left behind: “Every contact leaves a trace” – Locard’s Principle, which forms the basis for modern forensic science.

The Anatomy of a performance was developed into a series of performances and Live Art Events to be staged  in 2013.

The work will premiere at Colchester Arts Centre.

The Anatomy of A Performance was supported by the Escalator 2011 Live Art Programme run by Anthony Roberts, Colchester Arts Centre, and by Arts Council England.

On Languard Point

A film by the Pacitti Company featuring performance, prose, myth, music and spectacular visuals. Inspired by the histories and culture of the East of England, On Landguard Point explores diverse ideas of home and exists at an intersection between live performance, community and cinema – where local people and places really do become the stars of the show. Shot in Felixstowe, this was the East of England’s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad. Featuring Giovanna Maria Casetta as an invited artist.

A Descent into Glamour- Giovanna Maria Casetta

Giovanna Maria Casetta presented a fantasy of femininity through the medium of film. It brings the artist’s concerns with notions of beauty and identity to life in a most eye-catching manner.

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