Visualeyez continues to persist as an endurance performance in and of itself. Running for a week long with performances and schedules stretched with little momentum, I am left wondering if it would fare better if staggered into a compact three or four days of performances and discussions.
A strong ensemble of artists gathered once again, and as a collective they supported each other’s works and process amidst low public attendance and feedback. The works performed ranged from physical feats and emotional discharges, all in the name of justice, which looking back, is irrevocably linked to a conscious release of words, time, and ritual. Justice was therapeutic, a means to cleanse, and often times, a means to distinguish what has been wiped clean.
As an active audience member, I am left recharged from interacting with engaged artists that challenged, alienated, and evoked strong ideas and perceptions. As a general member of the arts community, I am left frustrated with the lack of organization in relation to schedules, the tardiness of the lineup details, and the isolation of the festival. As potentially transcending all disciplines from experimental acoustics to movement arts to theatre, performance artists clearly do not have their own set of audiences by its very nature as an adaptable and reactive medium. With that in mind, certain performances would have done well outside of the gallery space, engaging with the rest of the city and its citizens by simply being and intervening in their spaces, rather than expecting them to come into yours.
Visualeyez undoubtedly deserves more recognition and time from the larger community, but it also requires greater vision from the organizers regarding its ongoing purpose and the execution of that purpose.
For detailed engagements of each performance, please read festival animator Shawna Dempsey’s reports from the front line at visualeyez2008.blogspot.com