Performance

'One Step Forward, Two Steps Back'

June 05, 2019

In this new performance Ford takes on the role of another Sisyphean character attempting to scale a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, and frustratingly for him, with each step he takes towards the summit he must take two further steps away leaving him further back than when he made the initial progress. Sisyphus was not a man to give up easily so this new character persists with the task again and again until finally arriving against his wishes at the bottom of the flight of stairs.

The performance was conducted on the steps between the cliff tops and the beach at Sewerby near Bridlington in East Yorkshire, UK on 6th June 2019.

A recording of the performance can be viewed here.

A blog post outlining further details about the performance can be read here.

The performance was also live-streamed from Vietnam to the internet as part of the 12th Online Performance Art Festival.

A recording of this performance can be viewed here.

A blog post outlining further details about this event can be found here.

'Saigon Citadel Walk'

February 22, 2019

On the morning of Saturday 23rd February, Patrick S. Ford travelled to District 1 of Saigon accompanied by Nina, Yiu Lai Lei to mark the occasion of this year's incarnation of the annual Terminalia Festival 2019.

This one-day Festival of Psychogeography has been held every year on the 23rd of February since 2011 and brings together individuals and groups who mark the Festival of Terminus,the Roman god of boundaries and landmarks.

To participate in the festival the two walkers chose the location of the old citadel of Saigon, which Ford had plotted from evidence gathered from old maps. As is often the case, different maps indicate slightly different configurations added to which is the fact that there were more than one citadel. I had chosen the first and largest as the focus for our walk. The larger incarnation of the citadel presented more opportunities for exploring the city and I also felt it was the most attractive in terms of design, however dubious the actual precise details of the design may be.

'The Path to Enlightenment'

July 01, 2017

It is said that in order to reach a state of enlightenment and experience nirvana, we must first rid ourselves of worldly delusions. Nirvana literally means something like 'extinguishing' or 'quenching' and the flame that we must extinguish is that of greed, hatred and other selfish and worldly obsessions.

In this performance, Ford acts as another Sisyphean character attempting to extinguish the candle that represents the delusions of life that must be quenched, and as is the nature of the Sisyphean experience, each attempt fails...the candle relights itself. After a period he tries again, only to fail again (shades of Beckett's famous line from Worstward Ho: 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better').

Recorded version of the performance here.

'The Path to Enlightenment' was performed via live-stream from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Thursday 6 December 2018 at 1:00pm UTC as part of the '10th Online Performance Art Festival'. 

'No holiday'

January 28, 2017

For many working people the highlight of the year is the annual summer holiday. During this short, intense period, people remove themselves from their habitual surroundings and immerse themselves enthusiastically into what is often unfamiliar geographical and/or cultural territory.

'No holiday' deals with this journey to and from this holiday adventure, reversing the usual paradigm by focusing on the journey rather than the destination and eliminating the relief felt upon arrival at the intended holiday location. Ford takes his suitcase, map and selfie-stick as he explores the choreography of the holiday experience.

Recorded versions of 'No holiday' performed at:

Chi Ma Wan, Hong Kong - 5.1.2017

Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong - 21.1.2017

Sewerby Cliffs, Bridlington, UK - 4.8.2017

Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy - 16.8.2017

These 4 recorded versions combined into Film Reel 1

York Walls, UK - 9.6.2019

Farm Cove, Sydney - 26.9.2019

'No holiday' was also performed via live-stream from Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong to the 'Duration & Dialogue Performance Art Festival' on 29th January 2017, and from Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong to the 'Inverse Performance Art Festival' on 1st April 2017.

On 30th March 2019 'No holiday' was performed via live-stream from District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the '11th Online Performance Art Festival'. 

On 6th September 2019 'No holiday' was performed via live-stream from Nguyen Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the '4th World Congress of Psychogeography' at Huddersfield University in the UK.

'Releasing Sisyphus'

July 01, 2016

In an attempt to release Sisyphus from his eternal torment, Ford carried a bag of stones, two small shrubs and a trowel from the beach at Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island up to the top of the first 'Twin' one of the two hills overlooking the bay. At the top he made a small cairn with the stones and planted the shrubs in such way as they would prevent the stones from loosening and rolling back down the hill.

Perhaps now Sisyphus would be free at last, He would be able to apply his physical strength and the strength of his character in other pursuits of his own choosing.

'Going Round in Circles'

July 29, 2014

'Going Round in Circles is a performance conducted in Tai Tam Country Park, Hong Kong Island on Wednesday 30th July 2014.

Ford walked around the hill clockwise from 9 to 5, the typical working day, stopping for tea breaks in the mid-morning (roughly 10:30am) and mid-afternoon (roughly 3;00pm) plus a one-hour break for lunch (at around 12:30). The whole was seriously treated as a working day. 

As he walked Ford carried a bag containing essential worker's tools as well as his packed lunch and something to drink. He also carried a small note-pad to record the circuits i.e. the passing of time.

He notated the circuits of the hill in simple form with one short, straight line for each circuit and a cross bar to complete each group of 5 circuits.

'10 Mars Bars'

October 20, 1981

In 1981, as a first year Fine Art student at Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic (Later to become Northumbria University) Ford made what is probably his first performance.

In the 'Lovaine' Halls of Residence, where he lived for around 7 weeks, he ate 10 Mars Bars within 40 minutes while 8 of his friends ate their dinner and observed the process.

Andrew Brown recorded the event in a notebook and in January 2019 via the sad news of one of the group passing away, this photographic evidence came to light.

The performance came about through conversation and a playful challenge but looking back it could also be seen as a premonition of his current practice.

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© 2013 by Patrick S. Ford / patricksford@live.com

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