7 ½ hour non stop performance / installation
Ends 06 September 2009
'happenstance…’ is a unique, site specific, one-off, durational performance by ritual performance artist, Shaun Caton (UK). In this performance for PS², he presents the viewer with an enigmatic situation in which drawings are made over extended time periods onto the walls of the space. Using organic elements such as terracotta clay, sticks and twine and genuine prehistoric artefacts as psychic triggers, the artist constructs and interacts with an enclave that exists outside of our time and space. Beautifully visual and richly layered, Caton’s performances resonate with great psychological intensity.
ENTER: cupping blood sprials.
Maps sights unseen.
Maze maker's brown inkage.
Blindspot in brackish dream Heave song.
Hymn to the stink tuber.
Shaun Caton has presented 227 live works worldwide since the early 1980’s, participating in major festivals and showcases of live art. He is one of just a few remaining artists whose work is heavily inspired and influenced by ritual and his work has been described recently as, ‘epic primordial performance’ (tactileBOSCH, Cardiff 2008) and ‘genuinely terrifying’ (The Scotsman, February 2009). In recent years Caton has only made a handful of new performances and is very selective about where to site an event, preferring unusual spaces rather than pristine gallery interiors. Typically, he will only make 2 or 3 live works a year now and spends a lot of time in mental preparation, making hundreds of drawings and evolving into the performance psyche beforehand. He seldom gives interpretation to his work and only acknowledges that it originates from an entered ‘trance state’ during the performance.
Much of his work is inspired by the powerful imagery of prehistoric cultures and he has visited numerous caves in France where surviving examples can be seen. However, the performances are multi-layered and often employ complex visual dynamics that interact with both the artist/audience. In a recent essay on Caton’s work, Cassandra Rutledge is fascinated by the “performer’s ability to metamorphose into various beings or presences and move effortlessly from one reality to another, leaving the viewer mesmerised.”