Acts Re-Acts returns to Wimbledon Space this month with a two-day performance laboratory and an accompanying series of residencies taking place in the gallery until 17 March.
Taking over the space from 6 – 11 March, artist Jamie Harper will use his residency to develop Common or Garden, a live action role-play about the conflicting human desires to create reified private gardens of experience alongside spaces of collective social gathering.
As part of this project, he is inviting students, staff and members of the public to join his participatory piece as played in the Live Action Role-Play? (LARP). LARP consists of people playing out fictional roles within an organised dramatic framework, but without a fixed performance narrative and without the presence of an audience. Part game, part drama, LARPs are designed to give participants an opportunity to live their way through a story: to experience it, rather than simply observing the work unfolding as a spectator.
We spoke to Jamie about his work, and what participants might expect from working on Common or Garden.
I’ll be working on an experimental project called ‘Common or Garden’. This piece will be about a group of players imagining themselves to be early humans on a journey to create a new place, with various options about what kind of place it becomes. The piece will start with a ‘crossing’ in which players travel to a new place. They can then create homes or ‘islands’ and decorate them so that the islands become ‘gardens’. There will also be an open space or ‘common’ where different sub-groups meet each other. The work is relatively abstract. It won’t use language. Instead, physical action and collaborative construction of space is what the larp will be composed of.
Is this the first time you have invited members of the public to take part in your work in this way? Can you please tell us about how you worked in this way before? What can students expect if they get involved?
The LARPs that I make are built upon co-creation and the collaborative methods that we will use are quite familiar to me. It’s important to stress that although I will create a framework for players to play and interact with each other, it is up to them to decide what kind of play they want to have. In other words, people who get involved won’t be performers, executing a pre-prepared plan, they’ll be players, imagining and building a world, living within it and thinking about how they might want to change it.
Jamie is looking for people to take part in this project on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March, 3-6pm each day and on Saturday 11 March, 12-3pm. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jamie directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Acts Re-Acts 4 takes place at Wimbledon Space from 20 February – 17 March, with a two day ‘performance laboratory’ taking place on 3 and 4 March. Find out more on the events page.