9 – 16 October 2020
VLTV 006 | Pierce Starre | Fragile
“We are not as broken as we might believe” Dathan Horridge, Glimpse, 2020
Fragile is an online live performance art work that takes time to explore the fragility of the human mind. According to a survey carried out by NatCen Social Research, in collaboration with the University of Leicester, for NHS Digital, 1 in 4 people will experience mental health difficulties of some kind each year in England. The same study found that the overall number of people reporting mental health difficulties has increased significantly in recent years.
The word fragile derives from the old Latin frangere which means to break. A vase will be held, until its weight can no longer be physically endured, at which point it will fall to the floor.
Vase, from the Latin vas, means “container”, or “vessel”. Human-like curves suggest the parallels of the containing function of the vase, with our own capacity to contain; to act as a vessel for our feelings, emotions and experiences and those of others.
This work takes place within the context of collective and personal experiences of trauma, loss, isolation and grief, resulting from a global pandemic. According to the charity Mind, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have reported increased difficulties with their mental health due to the current COVID 19 pandemic.
Fragile explores the limits of our capacity to hold and contain and takes time to connect with the moments in which we let go.
Pierce Starre is a Liverpool based artist with a practice situated in performance. Pierce’s first language is British Sign Language, as both of their parents are profoundly Deaf. Previous works have explored their experience of growing up as a hearing individual in a predominantly silent household. Pierce has explored through their work the territory which they occupy between the Deaf and hearing worlds and has further critiqued intersectionality in broader social and political contexts; highlighting the restrictive nature of the institution, institutional boundaries and oppression and the spaces between self and other.
Pierce was awarded a commission by DaDaFest as part of their Artist Development fund and is receiving ongoing mentoring support from Ireland’s leading Performance Artist; Amanda Coogan. Pierce has undertaken residencies with Liverpool’s Hope University and METAL Culture UK. They recently performed Labels at Word of Warning in Manchester the work provided the viewer with an opportunity to explore the labels they place on others, through the externalisation of their own internal perceptions. In January 2020 Pierce participated in the CO-CREATION LIVE FACTORY “Dissenting Bodies Marking Time” at Venice International Performance Art Week where he explored altered landscapes due to administrative decisions made by institutional spaces.