STAGE Guilt & Lay Hear @ NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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If you need a fix of experimental performance art during the quiet period of January then you’re in luck, as the NewBridge Project has two doses of it lined up on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th January. Performed by Gina-Maria McCarthy, both Guilt and Lay Hear encourage the audience to watch and potentially participate in pieces that place the body in uncompromising or unusual positions.

Guilt, performed on the 15th of January, sees McCarthy going through a self-imposed endurance test, kneeling on the floor in a prayer-like position with eyes closed as she clasps on to her hands, filled with pins and needles. She hopes to maintain the position for up to five hours, which, considering the amount of pain that must be inflicted during the performance, is both extremely admirable and a look at the more unorthodox end of experimental performance art.

Lay Hear, on the 16th of January, is a less confrontational but no less engaging experience for the audience. McCarthy will lie on a mattress in the room with stethoscopes taped to her body; the idea is for the audience to use the implements to listen to different parts of her body. The idea stems from being able to listen to the sounds of those closest to you, by lying on their chest, stomach or legs; the fact that McCarthy is a stranger to the majority of those who will see her perform twists the concept, encouraging the audience to think about ideas surrounding personal space and intimacy.

It may be uncompromising, and even possibly uncomfortable, but McCarthy’s works are well worth a look for fans of experimental performance art, such as that of Marina Abramovich, or those interested in issues surrounding the body.

Guilt comes to the NewBridge Project Space on Thursday 15th January, while Lay Hear will be performed on Friday 16th January.

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