Aaron Williamson (Art in the Urban Space, 2016)Demonstrating the World2014

Aaron Williamson

Shortlisted in 2016 for Art in the Urban Space

Over the last twenty years Aaron Williamson has created more than 300 performances, videos and installations worldwide including Taiwan, Greenland, Canada and Transylvania. As a profoundly deaf person he made exploratory work about receiving sound, performing experimental sound poetry to installations using sound-to-text software. The main influence upon his work is what he calls the ‘Classic Period’ of performance art that ran from the late 1950’s through to the mid-1970’s. This period included a worldwide political, social radicalisation leading up to the revolutionary protests of 1968 and beyond.

The mainstay of Aaron’s artistic practice is interventionist performance in urban spaces where the general public often forms the setting or even the subject of the work. Shopping centres, city streets, public museums or even galleries become his stage with their particular civic relevance and architectural properties becoming part of the work. In 2013 commissioned by Venice Agendas for the Venice Biennale Aaron staged a series of performances along the waterfront between Giardini and the Columns at the Molo. His work focused on infiltration, conflict and pacification, the three theoretical stages of invasion, a characteristic of Venice during the busy art festival period.

More recently Aaron has been commissioned by Unlimited 2 for a durational public intervention work particularly aimed at urban shopping centres. For this future project he will perform using a mobile stage set featuring a radically displaced domestic interior designed in collaboration with architect Ida Martin. Demonstrating the World questions the intuitive negotiation of even the most habitual and self-evident activity. Since 2000 he has built up a catalogue of Performance Art pieces which he also disseminates through social media to a wider audience.