Oriana Fox and Kerry Irvine, 7 February 2013

London Theatre Seminar

Postgraduate panel, Spring 2013

Thursday 7 February, 6.30-8.30pm

Room 261, Senate House

Oriana Fox (Goldsmiths), ‘Amateur Hosts and Professional Friends: Artists Reinvent the TV Talk Show’

In recent years, many contemporary artists have been drawn to the TV talk show format, perhaps because it’s a simple way to make connections, generate dialogue and showcase their skills as multi-media producers. This paper explores this phenomenon by no means exhaustively, but analyses specific anecdotes from Vaginal Davis’ Speaking From The Diaphragm at PS122 (2010), Jennifer Sullivan’s It’s A Process (2009-present) and John Kilduff’s Let’s Paint TV (2002-present) – each of which reinvent the genre in unique ways. Looking at these examples as an attempt to politicise the personal and create new forms of community, I argue that these artists’ talk shows are surprisingly less radical than their pop cultural predecessors, which in their heyday created a welcome chaos in the public sphere.

Oriana Fox is an artist working primarily with performance and video to critique the depiction of women in both contemporary media and the work of feminist artists from the late 1960s to today. She has performed and shown her work in galleries, festivals and art fairs worldwide including the Liverpool Biennial, Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Wien, Dashanzi Festival in Beijing, Solyanka State Gallery in Moscow and Photo Miami. Having received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000 and an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2003, Oriana is currently pursuing a practice-based MPhil/PhD in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College and has been part of the AHRC funded research project Performance Matters. She has delivered lectures on her work at Nottingham Trent University, Central Michigan University, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Sheffield Hallam University and Goldsmiths, among other colleges. Currently, Fox also runs a studio called “Crafting an Artistic Self” for 2nd and 3rd year BA students at The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Media and Design at London Metropolitan University.

Kerry Irvine (Brunel), ‘Models of production and enterprise for the fringe theatre maker’

This research examines the small scale theatre sector (the fringe) specifically; opportunities of theatre practice and production development for early career theatre makers and routes to market for theatre performances.  It’s suggested the ‘fringe’ is a critical and common point of entry for early career theatre artist, yet it is an uncharted and complex landscape to negotiate. It is proposed that by developing a range of production models for theatre artist to work within, a framework is set which enables enterprise, stimulating innovation to theatre practice and which supports the sustainability of the artist and their work.

Kerry Irvine is currently a senior lecturer in the Performing Arts Department at Bath Spa University. She is an independent theatre producer and director.  Kerry has curated and produced over 18 theatre festivals and toured shows around the UK and Europe. She is Joint Director of ScenePool, a theatre production company committed to producing new theatre writing and theatre festivals nationally. Recent projects that ScenePool has been involved in include the Fringe First-award-winning play Mad About the Boy by Gbolahan Oblsesan (winner of the Jerwood Award 2009) at 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, produced by Iron Shoes and the National Theatre Studio.  She is an associate producer with Iron Shoes and leads research and networking groups: Theatre Lab, Producers Platform and Performance Initiative.  Her doctoral project at Brunel is entitled ‘Commodifying performance : An investigation into current strategies in relation to the  small scale theatre industry sector with specific reference to its enterprise, sustainability and its innovation of contemporary theatre practice’.