The BLAND Project by G.R.I. 2008

07 Aug 2008 : Performance Space at Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

In The BLAND Project, we take both performing and the social personas as subject matter. It is a performance work about the mystery of blandness, which is not any one thing or quality. Themes include the transgression of personal space and boundaries, and the difficulty of separating or dividing the self, as being, from the performance “character”. Ranging from aesthetics in design, cuisine and art, to descriptions of personality traits, to a cross-cultural examination of the socialisation process, this work delves, rather than defines. Using video as a mirroring device, it searches for a terminology of blandness, ranging from stereotype, to mask, to emotional barrier, to aesthetic property. Blandness is equated differently in terms of either refinement or as an absence of strong qualities , which are here investigated in relationship to performative presence. The performers in this work are always under scrutiny: reflected in the video landscape within which they move, there is nothing but images of themselves. Without knowing the answers, we ask at each transition: who is behind the façade? The set comprises only screens, mirrors and blankets: grey army blankets, the most basic item of refuge and a humbling cover of nakedness in crisis.

The BLAND Project was initially developed in 2006 through a residency with Critical Path at The Drill Hall, Sydney. During the 2008 rehearsal process it has been the Major Project for observation by students of the Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney. Rehearsals have taken place in The Rex Cramphorn Studio, University of Sydney, and in St Stephen’s Hall, Newtown.

Watch excerpt on youtube

Project Details
Dates 07 Aug 2008 to 09 Aug 2008
Duration 1 hour
Collaborators Director : Alan Schacher ; Performers : Ari Ehrlich, Phillip Mills, Teik-Kim Pok, Ryuichi Fujimura ; Choreography : Alan Schacher with the Performers ; Video Design: Sean Bacon and Michelle Mahrer ; Composer-Musician: Boris Baberkoff ; Lighting Design : Sydney Bouhaniche ; Video Artist : Sean Bacon ; Additional Video Imagery and Documentation : Michelle Mahrer ; Set Design : Alan Schacher And Sean Bacon ; Moving Screen System : Russell Emerson ; Costume : Alan Schacher
Producer Gravity Research Institute and Performance Space
Category ensemble
Credits This Project was supported by The Australia Council for the Arts, ARTS NSW, Marrickville Council, Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, Performance Space ; Production Manager : Liam Kennedy ; Rigger : Garnet Brownbill ; Photographer : Mayu Kanamori ; Dance Producer, Performance Space : Rosalind Richards ; Technical Manager, Performance Space : Richard Manner