Rogue lone carnivalesque protest.

 

I am a relatively new artist. I have had a background in teaching and community work before moving into the arts some 6 years ago. The MAPS Masters has been a great opportunity to help articulate my art practice and gravitate to ideas and theorists that investigate public space in a way that’s meaningful for me.  

I describe my art practice as a lone rogue carnivalesque protest. I use masks, costumes and sometimes puppetry to foreground this carnivalesque space.  Mikhail Bakhtin in Rabelais and His World describes how Medieval folk humour and it's laughter "built a second world and a second life outside officialdom" (p7). He proposed the carnival as a moment when the dominant power structures could be subverted, for example, kings become fools and fools become kings and a topsy turvey world is offered up, through humour, laughter and chaos. I consider, that Once another way of being, is presented outside of 'officialdom', it can’t be unseen, opening up possibilities for revolution.

Some opposition to this idea has been that the very carnival itself acts as a tool for the dominant power structures to suppress the people. The carnival becomes a mechanism for the people to let off steam, so that when the carnival finishes they can then return to the status quo. 

With this in mind, I have the rather fanciful idea that in my art practice, I am a carnival character gone rogue…a lone character who has left the carnival only to pop up unexpectedly each time reinvented, so as to extend and fuel the continued life of the carnival within the everyday. It is this notion that motivates both my art practice and use of public space. My invention of different and absurd characters plays into this idea of the rogue carnival character appearing each time reinvented, so that the public never quite know what to expect next. 

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