Cara Davies is currently undertaking her PhD research as part of Performing Documents. She is a performance artist and hobbyist archivist. Activating an interdisciplinary approach to practice-led research, Cara’s praxis re-thinks the construction, use and dissemination of performance documentation and archives as works of live art. Artistically her practice focuses on issues of archival lacunae, re-presentation of documentation in performance, re-documentation of documents and the juxtaposition of the live and documented body. Challenging how these processes impart a fragmented understanding of identity, memory and bodily experience, Cara’s work spans a range of mediums including dance, video, live art, multi-media installation, online broadcasting and social engaged itinerant performance. Cara is a selected Escalator: Live Art Artist (2011), whose solo work has been presented in Cyprus, Spain, Utrecht, Finland and Turkey.
Cara spoke on her practice-led research project Instability in Stability. She writes:
Instability in Stability is a practice-led research project exploring how strategies for archive construction and maintenance can be activated as a live artwork and digitally-mediated performance. The work challenges how the processes of performance, documentation and archiving inter-relate, inviting a virtual audience into the private and personal space of my loft, my past and my creative working process. The outcome has been a research-project, which simultaneously generated a physical, object-based archive and a digital archive, with an online portal to house documentation of the project’s creation. On a personal level the project examines my own bodily experiences, memories and identity, considering how I wish to disseminate who I am and where I come from to an online audience, who are also encouraged to answer the same questions about their own life experiences and relationship to the objects they stow away. As an extension of the project, the presentation Instability in Stability will look at how the project’s research questions, outlined above, can be explored in a symposium scenario, reactivating the performance constructs with in this new context.
Instability in Stability was funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts award and is supported by Colchester Art’s centre Escalator Live Art scheme and the University of Bristol’s Performing Documents research project.