Right at the end of this year’s George Town Festival is what looks like one of the most exciting events. ‘Blind’ is a piece of performance art in which dozens of men and women are dressed in business attire and walk around the city, except with a twist – they are all blindfolded and covered in clay.
The Brazilian Desvio Colectivo began setting up these performances in their home country under the name ‘Cegos’ (the Portuguese word for blind), but have since taken their performance piece across the globe. It has been performed in the cities of New York, Paris and Rio de Janeiro to name but a few, and will be brought to George Town on the 31st of August and the 1st of September.
In every city the creators take ‘Blind’ to, they recruit performers from the local population and run workshops with them which incorporate analysis and debate over the role of street performances and what would be the best route for that specific community and its concerns. This ensures that the the performance is applicable to the city in which it is being performed, and the result is a more poignant and meaningful event.
Because of this process, the performance provokes different reactions and seems to have different things to say in each location. In New York, for example, the focus was on elite financial and political life. There are many possible readings of the message behind this performance art, which can be interpreted as a criticism of consumerism, of overworking or of the petrification of life, and this varies by location. However it also raises questions about how we interact with the spaces around us, something we don’t regularly consider until forced to. It should, then, be very interesting to see which streets in George Town are used, and what will be the interpretation of the performance here.
‘Blind’ will take place on the 31st of August and 1st of September in George Town. Information about the route and time of performance has not yet been released, but you can keep up to date and find out more here https://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/blind.
By Ella Benson Easton