Victoria Gray C.V. [pdf]

Biography

Victoria is an artist and practice-led researcher, and has presented work nationally and internationally throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. With an initial conservatoire training in dance and somatic practice (1998 - 2004), her primary medium and material is the body. Her work includes actions, interventions, time-based sculpture and video, being presented in museums, galleries and festivals in performance art, fine art and choreographic contexts.

Recent presentations include; FADO Performance Art Centre (Toronto, Canada), VIVA Art Action (Montréal, Canada), 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (Greece), The Tetley Centre for Contemporary Art (Leeds), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Wakefield), Baltic 39 (Newcastle Upon Tyne), Royal Museums Greenwich (London), Siobhan Davies Studios (London), 8th Biennial of Photography (Poznan, Poland), Grace Exhibition Space (New York), and Centre de Cultura de Dones Francesca Bonnemaison (Barcelona).

Approach

Since 2011, she has drawn on somatic practices as methodologies for performing the body inside-out. Often durational, the performance's utilise slowness and stillness, whilst performing unsighted, bringing a cellular-attention to kinesthetic sensations at the sentient level of bone, muscle, organ, fluid, gland and nerve. Somatic awareness disturbs “common-sense” hierarchies of sensory organisation, activating the political potential of a body that is intimately attuned to affective experience.

Each work is contingent on the audience's presence and the specificities of each performance space. Like time and the body, affect becomes a material in performance, it is shaped moment-by-moment in an immediate exchange between performer, audience and site.

Research & Teaching

She holds a PhD in Fine Art, awarded by Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London (2017), with a thesis titled, 'Towards a Kinesthetic Universe: Somatic methodologies for analysing affective experience.' This research integrated affect studies, process philosophy, political theory and somatic practices to understand preconscious experience as a cellular, trans-generational consciousness.

Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited books in the fields of performance, affect theory and choreography, including articles in; The Drama Review (MIT Press, 2015); Choreographic Practices (Intellect, 2013) and Journal of Dance & Somatic Practice (Intellect, 2012; 2017) and chapters in Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance (Routledge, 2016) and Kinesthetic Empathy in Creative & Cultural Practices (Intellect, 2012).

Her research has been presented at conferences, including; PSi #19 Now Then: Performance & Temporality, Stanford University California, USA; TaPRA, Embodied Engagement: Participatory And Immersive Performance, The University of Glasgow & The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, UK; Sound :: Gender :: Feminism :: Activism Conference, Centre for Research into Sound Arts Practice, London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London.

Since 2004, she has taught in Further and Higher Education contexts, including as Senior Lecturer in Performance at York St John University (2007-2013), and continues to deliver on BA, MA and PhD programmes in arts-based subjects. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Oui Performance

Her practice extends to the action of artist-led organisation. She is invested in developing practice, discourse and education of performance art in the UK. Alongside artist Nathan Walker, she is Director of Oui Performance (Founded 2010, York, UK), an artist-led organisation dedicated to research and presentation of performance in the UK and internationally. Oui Performance Website