Cara Davies – Researcher

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Cara Davies is a performance artist, researcher and hobbyist archivist working with the mediums of dance, video, live art, multi-media installation, online broadcasting and social engaged itinerant performance.

Interweaving a professional practice with a focus on practice-led research Cara completed her undergraduate studies in Dance and Performing Arts at Chichester University (2008) before moving on to do a Masters at Dartington College of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice Dissemination (2010). Here she explored questions of artistic processes, production and dissemination in specific relation to the documentation and archiving of contemporary performance. This research led to the development of Cara’s practice-led PhD Activating Archives. Currently writing up her practice-led PhD research at the University of Bristol, as part of Professor Simon Jones and Dr Paul Clarke’s project Performing Documents: modelling creative and curatorial engagements with live art and performance archives. Cara’s PhD is AHRC funded and examines the creative and archival methodologies through which we can re-contextualise and re-mediate existing archive materials within new performative settings, in order to question the representation of performance history and artistic identity.

Throughout her training Cara has maintained an interdisciplinary connection between her roles as researcher, archivist and performer, collaborating with a variety of choreographers, musicians, archivists and performance artists, working for instance as a performer participant in choreographer Andrea Garcia Rodrigues’ project City Body’s Writing; as an exhibition curator for Theatre Collection, producing the exhibition Reading Franko B: Moments in Love; as a talks/symposium coordinator for The Parlour Showroom’s project In the City; as a research assistant on The Performance Reenactment Society‘s piece Group Show (2012) at the Arnolfini; as part of the documentation team at Marina Abramovic’s symposium The Pigs of Today Are The Hams of Tomorrow (2010); performed with Sardinian-based collective Carovana S.M.I on their project Paesaggi Interrotti (2009), and became a founding member of the research collective Tracing the Pathway (2011).

As a soloist Cara was a selected Escalator: Live Art Artist (2011) and received an Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award for the durational performance-as-research project Instability in Stability. She has recently presented solo projects and research in Cyprus, Spain, Utrecht, Helsinki, Turkey and the U.S.A.

Artistic Interests

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  • The Performativity and Documentation of Live Art; Performing the Archive, Archive Theory and Performance History;
  • The Body, Construction of Identity and the Relationality between Body and Objects;
  • Gifting through Performance/Sharing as Performance;
  • Performance Writing (creative modes of articulating and disseminating practice/theoretical writing as art);
  • Interdisciplinary and Cross-Sectoral Practice;
  • Site-Responsive and Itinerant Performance (including a particular focus on the City);
  • Critical theory and Philosophy;
  • Translation;
  • Creative strategies for the production of contemporary performance that shape and inhabit our social, political and cultural climate.

Activating an interdisciplinary approach to practice-led research Cara’s praxis re-thinks the construction, use and dissemination of performance documentation and archives as works of live art. Artistically her practice focuses on issues of archival lacunae, re-presentation of documentation in performance, re-documentation of documents and the juxtaposition of the live and documented body. Challenging how these processes impart a fragmented understanding of identity, memory and bodily experience, Cara’s work seeks ways to share, exchange and disseminate these fragments to diverse groups of people.

Performing Documents

Theatre Collection

In the City

The Pigs of Today Are The Hams of Tomorrow

Carovana S.M.I

Tracing the Pathway

Instability in Stability