Image: Kari McInneny McRae, VCA Graduate Exhibition Performance. Image Courtesy: Lucy Foster

Kari McInneny McRae- Salt Performances

Salt 1
Opening night performance
Wednesday 30th January

Saturday 16th February

Salt 3
Saturday 23rd February

As part of the exhibition Invisible Bridge Kari McInneny McRae and her sister Tarn Kate McInneny-McRae will be undertaking a series of performances.

Invisible Bridge is a group exhibition with Ro Noonan, John Brooks and Vittoria Di Stefano and myself. Each artist in this exhibition has investigated with the notion of materially interrogating the notion of “the bridge” by expanding identified overlapping objectives and qualities in our own practices – intimacy, memory, temporality and tactility. Additionally, the works investigate ideas regarding human/material agency within the processes of formalization, and how constructed material conditions can facilitate a sense of flux and in-between-ness.

In response to this theme I have created work, which looks at affect. Affect is the in between and unknown state of the body’s reaction to an effect. Affect is ongoing and does not have a clear starting point (except perhaps in the case of physical or sexual trauma). Affect speaks to a domino effect of people’s experiences and ongoing responses to one another. Affect is difficult for me to write clearly about because it is so different through my own subjective lens, which focuses on emotional experience, trauma and the in-between state of change, moving forward, forgetting, remembering and reconstructing.

Having said that, affect theory is of significant importance to all fields because it is speaking about the universal.3 It speaks about human interaction and insight or perceptions of specificities within the day–to–day mundane. Though there are a variety of interpretations of affect, I identify with the concepts expressed by writers Gregg and Seigworth that “Affect is integral to a body’s perpetual becoming… with affect, a body is as much outside itself as in itself- webbed in its relations…”. Affect can relate to the body in relation to trauma, or in relation to an ongoing process: the way in which we all have the capacity to affect another being, from the minute to the significant.

In my work, rather than just body–to–body affect, the objects also present or offer affect in the moment of encounter. My intention is that they affect the viewer. The difficulty with relating my objects to affect theory is that they are non-human; however I see the objects I make as the actor, a non-human actor, one which can can carry affect.

I have also created what some may call ‘performance’ within the work. This has come from an intense study of how to translate my work into language and explain it to others. Whilst trying to find a language for my work, language has now become apart of the work. I use language to regurgitate memories that cause me pain and through my art I use language in a similar way: reconstructing, chopping, pulling apart and changing. Additionally, through installation I am again reconstructing and recreating past narratives into new experiences for the viewer. The installation therefore becomes a physical space, but also a mental space. Language is a very new element presenting itself as performance in my work, however I think of it as another material and not as theatrical. This new material I am using in my work is the voice and small bodily gestures. Text and voice take the forms of numerous different characters throughout my work, however each character is in some way related to my past story and to me through my own memories and experiences of affect. My sister Tarn Kate McInneny-McRae and myself will undertake “Performances” for this piece.

Kari McInneny McRae