The Touching Contract
The London performance of
In the Shadow of the State by Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones
Staged in a former juvenile courthouse, The Touching Contract in London proposes new ways of understanding how we learn the political gesture of touch through an immersive performance work. This is the final in a series of four performances of the project In the Shadow of the State by artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, which examines the State and its instruments from the perspective of the female body.
The performance features a soundscape composed by Alma Kelliher and a legal score devised in collaboration with Máiréad Enright. This contract forms the basis of how audience members can choose to participate in the performance (or not), and has been developed in discussion with an invited group of women in the city. Adapted from the Dublin performance, The Touching Contract in London finds new resonances as women’s experiences of childhood and maternity encounter the gaze of a State that is newly conscious of its borders; where labouring women in maternity hospitals will now need to prove their British citizenship or residency status before receiving treatment.
In the Shadow of the State is co-commissioned by Create (Ireland) and Artangel, and is a key project in the Arts Council’s ART: 2016 programme for Ireland 2016. By supporting the project, The Arts Council is placing artists and the arts at the centre of how it responds to the Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Additional support for the project has come from Dublin City Council, Liverpool Biennial and Heart of Glass (St. Helens)