A leap into the void at Arnolfini

I’m presenting a new performance this weekend, Sun 8th February, as part of Arnolfini’s We Live Here Weekender in Bristol. It’s a bit of a leap into the void for me – a new durational work that is probably more abstract and formless than my work’s been for a long time. But that’s no bad thing, I think… See below for PR. Sunday 2-5pm, all welcome.

“What we think is less than what we know : what we know is less than what we love : what we love is so much less than what there is. And to that precise extent we are so much less than what we are.” (R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967, p26).

In a departure from some of the becoming-animal performances that he created between 2002-08, for ‘We Live Here’ Paul Hurley will be making a durational intervention in the foyer and outside Arnolfini. Using a number of everyday materials and objects, he will perform a series of meditations, rituals, ordeals and acts of becoming. Through simple actions and moments of stillness, he will be locating and experiencing himself in time and space and opening himself and spectators up to the ‘experience of sensation’. In an effort to resist the representational or conceptualising impulses of theatre and visual art, Hurley will attempt to harness the “unknowable and uncontainable forces that we experience as chaos” (Elizabeth Grosz, 2008: 80). Although for Hurley a journey to an other world (perhaps even the underworld), the piece is also firmly rooted in the embodied world, in the body of the performer and in that of the spectator, and the charged space that joins them. Spectators are invited to witness, to feel, to “be with” the work.


Yves Klein, Leap into the Void, 1960

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