Claire MacDonald is an independent writer whose work focuses on two areas: the crossovers and intersections between art, writing and performance, and the cultural history of creative practice. During the three decades since she co-founded Impact Theatre Co-operative in Leeds in 1978, she has been a theatre maker, university teacher, critic, playwright, performer, writer, editor, yoga teacher and practice based researcher. She now writes about artists across the spectrum of the visual arts and performance, is a founding editor and consultant editor to Performance Research and a contributing editor to PAJ: a Journal of Performance and Art. This year she returned to performance in a collaborative work with Charlotte Vincent, Traces of Her, and has recently written about Graeme Miller’s theatre work, Martha Wilson’s archive, the history of collaboration in UK live art and performance and John Cage’s transatlantic crossings. Her three Utopia plays are due out in a new edition from Intellect books, and she is currently at work on Art and Life: the Making of Dartington.
For Redux, she will be presenting ‘Performing with Ghosts’. She writes:
How does returning to work we made a long time ago get us to think about the narrative of our own bodies — and those of others — in performance? What does reconsidering our bodies tell us about time, change and, possibly, death? What is the relationship between archive and repertoire in our bodily histories, and how does the concept of return ask us to think about changing notions of what it means to be an artist, over a lifetime? This talk returns to works in my own past: The Carrier Frequency, made by Impact Theatre in 1984 and addressed in my recent work with Charlotte Vincent, and my Utopia texts, written between 1987 and 2008.