Hayley Newman : Shot in the Dark
	Hayley Newman  `Hook and Eye' 1998

	`Hook and Eye' is the final performance in a series of performances
  that I have been working on since 1996,and which are
loosely based around notions ofvisibility
and invisibility of the self in performance.

`Hook and Eye' is a performance in which
I wear an all in one boiler suit,
covered in a patchwork of Velcro.
The Velcro is sewn onto the suit in such a
manner that at each point that the body can bend it sticks back onto itself.
The subsequent sound of the Velcro tearing apart as I move my limbs during the
performance is amplified through a number of small microphones which are sewn
into the suit itself. The performance takes place in the dark, the only light
present being a single light bulb which is activated (via a disco light organ)
by the sound produced each time I move in the suit. Using the `disco light
organ' to activate a light means that I can only be seen through the physical
exertion of my own movements. The movements I make are constructed both to
utilise the suit as a sonic tool and to have a visual effect. The sound
produced by the suit is a scratchy cross between the original sound of
amplified Velcro and a thunderstorm. The visual performance is something
between a generic horror movie, Jackie Chan, Elvis (in my dreams) and Charlie's
Angels (ditto).
`Hook and Eye' is the fifth performance which occurs in the dark or semi
darkness. Others include `Shot in the Dark' 1996, `Sky at Night' 1996, `Endless
Loop' 1997 and `Crystalline III' in 1998. In all these pieces the body is
visible to differing degrees and at differing times, and in all instances
visibility is either pre-meditated or controlled live during the performance.
For example in `Crystalline III' only my feet are seen, lit by small torches
attatched to my ankles. The top half of the body is in darkness and only
alluded to through the movement of the feet. 
In `Shot in the Dark' I wear a light sensitive dress which is `charged' by the
flash of a photographic flash unit. I am seen momentarily as the flash
discharges after which the image of the glowing dress hovering in a dark space
is all that is left.The light from the dress `glowing' partially illuminates my
inner arms and the tops of my thighs, but again the prescence of the performers
body is only inferred by the visibility of the dress. The use of light in both
these pieces allows me to direct the audiences attention to one specific
The pieces try to negotiate a way between the physical and visual  presences of
the performer, often offering only fragmentory moments when the body can be
seen. Thoughts around my approach and reasoning for making such a body of work
can be seen on both formal and personal levels. Formally I am trying to
negotiate relationships in a  traditional performer/audience context where the
body takes precedence and is `observed'. I make the body only partially visible
in an attempt to errode the distance between performer and audience caused by
watching. The performances are very short and the use of the device of becoming
`invisible' also may infer an instant altered state. More personally the
attempt to make the body disappear was a solution for my own discomfort as a
performer and an answer to the problematic of the presentation of the
performing ego. 
Hayley Newman : Shot in the Dark Tingle here!