Image: What Cannot Be Turned Aside (2018), Maeve Rendle, Touchstones Rochdale. Pantling Studios
Artist Maeve Rendle’s work shows a recurring fascination with sounds sculpted by the human voice and its co-option as a means of expression and tool of communication. It also repeatedly returns to her fascination with mimicry and learning by rote as an essential component of language acquisition.
Her new performance ‘What Cannot Be Turned Aside’ (2018) was prompted by physicist David Bohm’s influential tract On Dialogue (1996). In it he suggests ways to democratise social discourse to engender a greater mutual empathy between the subcultures within society. A theme with a certain urgency considering the partisan tone of contemporary political discourse.
With only four public performances at Touchstones Rochdale, compacted into two days, the event involved approximately 50 theatre and music students who, organised into three groups, performed for a much smaller seated audience.
The raw material for their vocal delivery consisted of drastically edited outbursts of pre-Brexit rhetoric from the House of Commons, words from an equine training book, and a more self-consciously ‘literary’ description of a scene from a BBC thriller.
Maeve Rendle’s ‘What Cannot Be Turned Aside’ was performed at Touchstones Rochdale 28-29 September 2018.