ZOO Venues, 13th - 15th August, Edinburgh Fringe 2019
They say ugly is a negative word but perhaps there’s a freedom in defying the norm… Join us on the streets as we renounce perfection, dance, be wild, and cut loose! Revel in the unusual and ugly in this celebratory Live Art intervention for everyone!
UGGA is the second in a series of street-based works for multiple performers, by artists Sophie Baker and Madara Vimba, the first of which was selected for UKYA City Takeover 2019 . UGGA is inspired by British rave culture, we challenge our audience to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Made in association with The Lincoln Company, University of Lincoln’s celebrated company of emerging performance makers.
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Sophie Baker is an artist working predominantly in performance and live art whose work plays on the oppositions and intersections of power and philosophy. Sophie explores issues of power imbalance, intimacy, love and the dynamics of human encounters and relationships.
Recent work has involved solo and collaborative performances including, UGGA (ZOO Venues, Edinburgh Fringe 2019), Transference 2019 (UKYA Nottingham City Takeover, Old Market Square, [gon-zoh] 2018 (Charlotte House Hotel, Lincoln), Girl Gag at STAGED 2018 (The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, London), Girls, it's okay, you're sitting on your fortune 2018 (Little Wolf Parade, Nottingham), Cupid's Den 2018 (Anglia Self Storage Ltd, Lincoln), Well Hung 2018 (Live Art Residency, Lincoln), Alpha 2017 (Project Space Plus, Lincoln), Cum Together 2017 (Collaboration in LPAC, Lincoln) & Connect 2017 (Collaboration in Dartington Hall Grounds).
Sophie uses her performance work to challenge the boundaries of discomfort, both for herself and her audience. The power positions of artist-audience relationships are played with and proximity explored. She is concerned with temporality of the materials she explores and how they live on in installation as an aftermath to the performance. Sophie Baker was born in West Yorkshire (UK) and has recently graduated form BA Fine Art at the University of Lincoln, she practiced professionally while studying and continues to do so.
Performance & Exhibitions
Adjust your grip
Featuring Swings & Roundabouts (T:@roundabouts_)
Pie 'n' Ears BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree Show, University of Lincoln, 2019.
'Adjust Your Grip' explores the large data base in which all daily sign up too. All of the data we create and exchange from all devices is stored in a server farm for anyone to view at any point. ‘Adjust Your Grip’ looks at what data can be revealed within your phone and what that says about you as a person. Looking into ideas of surveillance from CCTV, audio recordings, and the GPS tracking we leave as a constant trail.
An investigation into the power dynamics between mobile devices and human encounters. Playing on ideologies of the Panopticon and the Synopticon, power in its purest form. By adjusting your grip, you unlock a unique data base specific to you, following traces and pathways you have carved, that are now internally and permanently stored. However, would you be willing to expose your database and allow profiling to occur?
With thanks to Little Wolf Parade for the images.
XYZ.Alpha Collective- UK Young Artists City Takeover,
Old Market Square, Nottingham, 2019.
'Transference' stands for the redirection of information and knowledge. Through performance we redirect statistics, news articles and issues surrounding popular culture. As an all female collective of 11 members, we developed the performance to take place in an everyday setting to confront the public. We developed this work from experiences but acknowledge that these issues are relatable to all.
XYZ.Alpha explored their individual experiences in relation to the question - What is Womanhood in the 21st Century?
The collaborative and solo performances evolved through the duration of 1 hour, all speaking to ideas around womanhood, absence and occupation. The voice of the performers is absent, black tape becomes the signifier to the silent reflection they are embodying in 'Transference'. Tackling issues and statements many of us choose to ignore in our daily lives, silent because we read, acknowledge and overlook.
Is social media a platform for ignorance?
XYZ.Alpha aimed for the audience to join us in investigating and challenging previous perceptions around such topics.
With thanks to documenters- Harriett Thomas, Mia Crutchley & George Hasler.
An intimate immersive experience of pornography's role through mediatisation and physical connections. [gon-zoh] took place at Charlotte House Hotel, Lincoln, it was a multitude of performances that involved public participation, lasting the duration of 40 minutes in a locked hotel room.
A slide projector took centre place above one of the master bedrooms displaying images taken from Baker's previous position as a housekeeper; publicising the private. While a live stream in the second master bedroom allowed the live performances to be viewed through the screen.
The 3 performances Prep, Act & Clean relate to the stages of sexual intercourse. Prep was the preparation of seduction created using urine, water, salt and sugar. Which are the main components of sweat.
Act was the joining of two strangers in the second master bedroom, delivering a live recital of pornographic instructions while nestled in bed.
Clean was a solo performance by Baker which played on the ideas of ASMR pornography.
With thanks to Charlotte House and Documenters- Harriett Thomas, Mia Crutchley & George Hasler.
Charlotte House Hotel, Lincoln, November 2018.
Container 47, Anglia Self Storage, Lincoln, 2018
Cupid’s Den is a one-to-one performance in which you are invited to join Cupid and ask him anything you want, as long as you return Cupid a favour. Don’t worry though every performance is tailored to the individual. He knows you’re all one of a kind. You may know of Cupid from Valentine ’s Day, but this Cupid is the real Cupid, the side none of you know. He’s a bad character, he’s a dangerous lover and he always gets what he wants. No one is promising you this will be pretty but it will certainly be full of passion.
“Saucy Cupid! But now you know all
about him, and what a naughty boy he is!”
From Hans Christian Andersen's"de nu artige dreng"
Live Art Residency
Gallery at St Martin's, Lincoln, 2018
One of five performance/live artists, who encountered a traditional art gallery in Lincoln City centre. We devised a week of experimentation, art talks and interacted with surrounding galleries and one another. Collectively over the duration we brought performance art to Lincoln and challenged generations in two public private views. Image above features a moment of the performance that resulted in the week long residency. Titled 'Well Hung'.
Project Space Plus, Lincoln, 2017
Alpha was grown around the A shape metal structure which intruded and framed the dirt and roses imbedded into the ground.
The roses and the dirt formed a sanctuary in which the performer finds the male, he is strong yet cold, present yet absent.
The cleansing and caring comes from the need to still love and long to be with him and the thorns are his power in which later regains and protrude the female form. This performance embodied the excitement, pain and the roles that unfold with love and relationships, the cycle that we will all continue to endure until we find 'the one'.
STAGED, The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, London, 2018
Evidencing the endless routine young females are confronted with, due to influences such as club culture, online social dating and impressing people of their peers.
Whether from choice or from subconscious persuasion, this is an ever growing push from the likes of social media. Peer pressure, celeb ideals and ideology of the IT girl formed the actions of 'Girl Gag', the girl who is stunning on a night out, slim and beautiful, can do all the drugs and keep up with the boys.
However long term it is not the reality, questioning, what results in this shift? While exposing the truth behind those perfected instagram images.
Girls, It's Okay, you're sitting on your fortune
SLAP, Little Wolf Parade, Rough Trade, Nottingham, 2018
In Girls, it’s okay, you’re sitting on your fortune the audience experiences a performance that questions how women are viewed, how equality has only come so far and how the tropes and materials of masculine and feminine power are hallowed and defiant but also arbitrary and ridiculous.
The piece exposes issues of value, gender perception and equality by interrogating costume and the material of sexualisation and dominance. The domestic goddess and the boardroom power-player are embodied in the Baker’s actions as this woman and her vagina struggle to regain control.
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Lincoln, 2017
A collaborative performance with Orinta Pranaitytė and Lauren Smith. This two hour performance occured within Lincoln's Performing Arts Centre. Individual performances began in relation to one another on female matters from sexual desires, menstruation and abortion. These solo performances in a shared space later began a collaborative exchange in connections through flesh and materials.
Connect + Disporia
Dartington College, July 2017 + The Scene, Lincoln, September 2017
Connect was a specific collaboration with dancers, musician and a video artist. In which we made site responsive work to the natural world surrounding Dartington Hall. This work was later revisited in performance when asked to perform for an arts collective, The Zig-Zag Club in Lincoln. In which Lauren Smith who edited and filmed the performances in Connect and I were invited to display our work. A further collaboration happened here with Sean Mowle who devised the soundtrack for the performance Disporia in which I investigated thoughts on homeland, man and nature.