Deeper Performance Enhancement, Fremantle Arts Centre PIAF 2013
Deeper, Deeper, Deeper... Opening Performance Lecture, Perth International Arts Festival Exhibition, 1 Feb - 7 Apr, 2013
Inside Running: the Sport of Art
Fremantle Arts Centre 1 Feb - 7 Apr, 2013
Artists: Erin Coates (WA), Simon Horsburgh (VIC), Richard Lewer (WA), Gabriella and Silvana Mangano (VIC), Todd McMillan (NSW), Sarah Jane Pell (VIC), Patrick Pound (VIC), Nick Selenitsch (VIC). Curators: Dr. Ric Spenser, Richard Lewer.
Inside Running: the sport of art brings together nine Australian artists whose passion for sport has bled into their art, in an exhibition of specially commissioned work. Sport takes contstant practice and for these artists the discipline and challenges of training and playing has become part of the way they make art and what they make art about. The artists' commitment to sports, ranging from surfing, scuba diving and basketball to boxing and climbing, informs and influences their work, which includes video, sculpture and large-scale installation. More about participation and less about spectatorship Inside Running delves into Australia's underlying obsession to play.
Pell presented 'Deep Performance Enhancement', 2013 combined raw diving footage, multi-track spoken-word audio, and commercial diving artifacts in combination with a performance-lecture to examine mental rehearsal, arousal control and deep performance enhancement in diving, art and life. Creating an artwork completely encapsulated within the confines of a single headspace seems fitting for an exhibition in this historic building - a former mental asylum and US Army base opposite the aquatic centre and over looking the Port of Fremantle. The installation invites the participant to place their head inside a commercial diving helmet and explore the inner voice of the diver and performer in all of us. The Installation comprised of Audio: Deeper, Deeper, Deeper... 2013; Video: La petite Mort, 2012; Dive Helmet with connected comms and Dry Suit. Taking mental rehearsal, arousal control and performance enhancement to a deeper level...
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, 'Deep Performance Enhancement', PIAF, Fremantle Arts Centre, 2013. Photo Jessica Wyld.
Navy seals - much like performance artists, martial artists, dancers, athletes and religious - use mental strategies to achieve peak performance.
Within the protective underwater technology, you will hear a composition of new works by the artist based on a fusion of the artists' own imaginative engagement with
the experience of occupation diving and underwater performance for 12 years and 4 highly
technical psychological techniques used by Navy SEALs namely,
(1) Goal Setting - simple focused actions, performed step-by-step, calm and task-oriented;
(2) Mental Rehearsal - pre-performance visualisation, neuro-associative conditioning;
(3) Arousal Control - relaxation, breathing, body awareness, imagination;
(4) Self-talk - positive affirmations, pep-talk, and posture.
In contrast, the footage of the Strahan Divers, attempting to avoid storming conditions, by diving an aquaculture farm in the middle of the night, is wild, unruely, undisciplined and yet perfectly methdolocal and reheased. This crew could literally perform in the dark, in fact, the Macqaurie Harbour is famous for it's blackwater stained naturally by the tannins in the button-grass and teatree run-off from the surrounding mountains. (See Aquaculture.)
Perth International Arts Festival
Inside Running: the Sport of Art, FAC 1 Feb - 7 Apr, 2013
The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Strahan Dive Pty Ltd, Tasmania crews 2008-10.
The artist also gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Keven Duck and KFD Group, Diving Supplies for the loan of commercial diving artefacts.http://www.kfd.com.au/