Articles

Talking to Myself: A Dialogue Between Practice and Performance

Author
  • Julia Pond (Kingston University)

Abstract

This playful, performative dialogue, a take on the self-interview format, brings together Julia, a practicing artist and mother, and her performative alter ego Julia Pond, founder and CEO of the fictional company BRED. Together, they navigate the blurred lines between professional and personal practice and performance. Departing from Schechner’s definitions of practice as ‘doing’ and performance as ‘showing-doing’, the self-interview problematizes the idea that practice, more than performance, has the power to affect our real identities (Spatz 220). It proposes that, rather than ‘performance’ being fake and ‘practice’ being authentic, the two co-affect each other, influencing both artistic and personal spheres. What happens when we must show everything we do? Julia and Julia Pond discuss the performance of subjectivity, individuality or affect that is now integral to contemporary work culture but that might have once been considered the territory of the ‘personal’ or ‘practice’. They consider how the roles we perform each day blur into personal identity, imprinting into the body and mind through daily repetitive labour. This phenomenon can include the performance of mothering as well as performing an artistic identity. Julia Pond and Julia also consider how these themes function in the fictional company BRED’s participatory performance installation, and its excerpt “The Manager-festo” which both embodies and critiques notions of ‘value’ and ‘productivity’ through the body, Powerpoint, and bread dough.

Keywords: practice-as-research, performance-as-research, creative practice, performance, dialogue, motherhood, capitalism, political economy, virtuosity, productivity

How to Cite:

Pond, J., (2023) “Talking to Myself: A Dialogue Between Practice and Performance”, Documenta 41(1), 141–157. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/documenta.86012

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Published on
14 Nov 2023
Peer Reviewed