It Was 40 Years Ago Today

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A research project devoted to uncovering and archiving the history of Performance Art in Wales.

Prosiect ymchwil i ddadorchuddio ac archifo hanes Celf Perfformio yng Nghymru.

Winner of the David Bradby TaPRA Award for Research in International Theatre and Performance 2011.

If you have any information on performance in Wales that could be of use to the project, please get in touch!

Whether you are an artist who has made performance work in Wales, or an audience member who once witnessed a performance (voluntarily or involuntarily!), we would be pleased to hear from you.
Any material will be of interest - from actual pieces of documentation to vague memories of events caught out of the corner of one's eye.
mail@performance-wales.org

Cysylltwch â ni os oes gennych unrhyw wybodaeth am berfformio yng Nghymru a allai fod o ddefnydd i'r prosiect!

Efallai eich bod yn artist sydd wedi gwneud gwaith perfformio yng Nghymru, neu'n aelod o gynulleidfa a welodd berfformiad unwaith (o'ch gwirfodd neu'n anwirfoddol!). Pwy bynnag ydych chi, hoffem glywed gennych.
Bydd unrhyw ddeunydd o ddiddordeb - o ddogfennau gwreiddiol i atgofion amwys am ddigwyddiadau a welwyd o gornel y llygad.
Mae'r manylion cyswllt wedi'u rhestru dan 'Cyswllt' yma, neu gallwch anfon e-bost i'r cyfeiriad hwn: mail@performance-wales.org

Project Director Cyfarwyddwr Prosiect: Heike Roms
Dept Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University
Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu Prifysgol

Contact: Professor Heike Roms
Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu Prifysgol
Aberystwyth University
Adeilad Parry-Williams Building
Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ,
UK phone ffon: (+44) 1970 - 621911 (direct uniongyrchol) mail@performance-wales.org

Funded by Wedi ei drawsgronni gan:
ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL (AHRC) (2009-2011)
(CYNGOR YMCHWIL Y CELFYDDYDAU A’R DYNIAETHAU) (2009-2011)
ARTS COUNCIL OF WALES (ACW) (2006-2008)
CYNGOR CELFYDDYDAU CYMRU (CCC) (2006-2008)
SIR DAVID HUGHES PARRY AWARD 2006, 2008
ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FUND (2007)

AHRC logo and link to website

Aberystwyth University Logo and link to website

Arts Council Wales logo and link to website

National Lottery Logo

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Hawlfraint © 2011 Cedwir pob hawl

What's Welsh for Performance? Beth yw 'performance' yn Gymraeg?

:15 events from 15 years: 1967

:1965 :1966 :1967 :1968 :1969 :1970 :1971 :1972 :1973 :1974 :1975 :1976 :1977 :1978 :1979

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Artists: unknown [students on Foundation Course at Cardiff College of Art] [two women, six men]

Colour Experiments

autumn 1967

Cardiff: Newport Road, Queen Street

[Photo: Film Still. Courtesy of Tom Hudson Collection, National Arts Education Archive]

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When exactly the action is taking place is not known. This short 8mm film that survives of it provides us with a number of clues: fashion, car designs and shop advertisements suggest that it is occurring sometime in the autumn of 1967. The location, on the other hand, is unmistakeable, even if has since undergone considerable change: this is the city centre of Cardiff, the Welsh capital – or, more precisely, the shop-lined central thoroughfares of Newport Road and Queen Street. Walking down these streets are two young women, made up in bright complementary colours. In the early stages the two are accompanied by six young men, who are holding large sheets of coloured paper. But these men soon disappear, leaving the two women to carry out the main action. We see the two enter a series of shops, ostensibly looking around at the goods whilst obviously conscious of being looked at themselves. Passers-by pause, turn their heads and raise eyebrows or smiles.
The two young women have transformed themselves into four-dimensional manifestations of colour, the quality of which changes as the two move through different environments and in turn call attention to the rather dull and muted colours of the quotidian street-life around them. The camera manages to catch them in a moment of emergence. We have seen them earlier stepping out of a three-dimensional kinetic sculpture, then hovering for a while on the threshold between building and street before venturing out into the city. We recognize this step, not because it is a particularly significant moment, but because its performative quality is familiar to us from many others elsewhere who were taking similar steps: an entry into the real, a move away from the supposed fixity of the object toward the open unpredictability of a social situation, an explicit invitation to be looked at and to make these looks part of what defines the 'work'. The giggling giddiness and slightly self-conscious assertiveness of the young artists clearly speaks of their excitement at the – for them –new and still unpredictable nature of the step they are in the process of taking.


(Heike Roms, unpublished)

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For more information on the event and on its available documentation search our database.

If you were part of this event or recognize someone who was please email us!