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Work in Progress: [Shy Girls] by Sophie Bates PERFORMANCE WORK SMOTHERED // SPECIAL

Language, words, in fact two words that are the starting point to a cathartic experiment involving flesh, mass, liquid, voices, colour and time. How a chicken should be in sauce and the way affection is given to grandchildren. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it is to suffocate, deprive, conceal, suppress or hide. I want to think and play with this word. I want to talk about both meanings. Can I give physicality or materiality to a given ‘emotion’…can I lavish a surfeit of this ‘emotion’, through itself, through language, through action?

Through FLESH, I want to expose the limited variety of textures, states of wetness or dryness and subtleties through touch and movement. I want it to be defenceless to itself, if that makes any sense at all. The awareness of MASS should bring presence, relate-ability and tension through uncertainty. There will be the unwanted comparable nature of humans. A LIQUID will be used to represent not just one thing, but to create dilemmas and conflict between the eyes’ of the viewers. It should be an ambiguous liquid but the sickly smell might allude to its true material. The VOICES will move through states of power and fragility. This should create a gradually increasing atmosphere through volume and speed. There will be cracks and falls in the voices; there will also be breathing. The COLOUR palette will be bodily, pink, cream and brown, Neapolitan ice cream. That is all there is to say about colour. TIME will hold us together. Facing the arrangement in a community of familiarity. Puzzling hostility created by closeness.

Movements will begin slow and controlled, bodies, mass will begin relaxed and still. Exhaustion and hopelessness will appear through repetition and climax. Fears of lack of control will penetrate and emerge on mass and flesh. Flesh will appear exhausted by the voice (from a whisper to a shout). Nervousness should be flung between audience and viewer. The atmosphere feels stubborn and embarrassed. Tensions should allow roles to be maintained. The female masses will be used as gendered material. Familiar gendered material can be directed through knowledge, experiment and experience. It should reveal potential meanings through associations.

Covered being an opposite of naked. Covered, as such by a dense cloud of smoke or dust. A type of paint or medication for dementia. It’s something of a particular nature or purpose. In a bad sense it’s a peculiar someone or thing. It’s my own chair or the features of a computer. Limitations and distinctions are important among other kinds. A particular affection or admiration. We will be arranged and appropriate for an occasion or a treat.