It’s almost the weekend and a lot of us are probably planning to be out and about on Saturday night, wearing a little more make-up, a little less clothing and a lot more attitude than for the standard weekday trudge to work and back. While weekends are meant for going wild, it’s worth understanding what we are doing when staggering around drunk and disorderly – what becomes of a person’s identity when “tired and emotional”? What messages are you giving out by ordering a round of Bacardi Breezers and flaming sambucas? Who are you saying you are by wearing those shoes?
Artistic duo FrenchMottershead, consisting of Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead have developed an artform called microperformance, a type of live art that consists of “a number of small, intimate actions, tasks or conversations performed anonymously on or by an active audience.” The audience picked for microperformance this weekend is the huddle of hip young things at the ICA. For one evening, participants in Club Class, the duo’s latest work, can take part in a series of micro-classes that analyse and alter expectations of a Saturday night out.
Class One is with motivational trainer Tom Bruno-Magdich on “controlled delinquency” and will teach participants how to behave badly and subvert the norms of a Saturday night out.
Class Two is with costume designer Marsha Roddy on clothing and presentation – your own and others around you, and by the end of the session, participants should be able to identify what is being communicated in the styles of dress of themselves and those around them. If it sounds frivolous, it’s not – the aim is to give participants a chance to try out different identities and ultimately behave differently and experience an extraordinary Saturday night out .
Class Three sounds like a lot of fun: it’s all about applying surveillance techniques to working a room – how to disguise yourself and how to interpret your target. Vital skills for a Saturday night out, and a key part of the artistic intervention that is the aim of Club Class.
Class Four is the counter-class to Class Three and is all about body language with choreographer Athina Vahla. Participants will learn how to alter their habitual body language to transmit a different impression of themselves, and will gain a better understanding of rhythm, touch and gesture.
All sounds frighteningly academic for the standard Saturday night drinking, dancing and flirting that will end in nothing more than a blurry memory of a nightbus home and the sneaking suspicion that a hastily bought kebab might make a reappearance on Sunday. However, we like the sound of this novel way to approach your weekend, and we love the fact the normal ICA bar crowd will be mingling with that evening’s class attendees, unaware that they will be scrutinised by those who have gained a certain knowledge. All interactions are going to be “art,” which is really rather wonderful. Except for quickie anonymous sex in the toilets, which is never art, it’s just bad and you certainly won’t be made top of your class for that.
Club Class at the ICA, Saturday 24 February, 7.30pm until midnight. For more information and to book, go to the ICA website here.