What is it to be a man today? Inspired by workshops and real conversations with men, performances conceived and directed by artist Mark Storor will bring male experiences previously kept in the shadows into the light. Made in collaboration with an international company of artists and participants, The Barometer of My Heart will explore the rich diversity of male experience. Carnivalesque, primitive and tender: still and moving image, music and animation, live performance, science and sound combine to create an intimate reimagining of masculinity today.
Funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust, for two years Mark Storor has facilitated workshops with men in religious, military, sports and corporate settings, carving out a distinctive space for men to talk freely.
Storor says: “Art allows us to look at things we can’t see and to give us a language for things that are unsaid. Too much is hidden, too much is covered up. It has been empowering to work with these men – I realise that they do want to talk about it.”
Jonathan Garside , Everton in the Community, says: “We traditionally use sport and physical activity to engage our men’s group – art was something of an unknown entity for us and them. Initially I was cautious but have been blown away by how they took to Mark’s workshops. It proves that given the opportunity, everyone is an artist and has the creativity to express themselves.”
Working with Dr Leighton Seal, Consultant Endocrinologist at St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, Mark has also undertaken research with men attending erectile dysfunction clinics at St. George’s Hospital, Tooting.
Dr Seal says: “Erectile dysfunction often precedes cardio vascular disease but because it is a social taboo and not taken seriously, men do not visit their doctor and suffer heart attacks, which could have been prevented.”
There is nowhere for men to discuss the issue outsi de a medical or therapeutic context. Anna Ledgard, Artsadmin Associate Producer, says: “The Barometer of My Heart explores the boundaries of participation and performance whilst also contributing to the discourse between art and biomedical science.”
The performances will take place at the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The site was the base for the Olympics Medical and Doping Centre for the London 2012 Games.
The Barometer of My Heart 15 Sept – 4 Oct 2015, 8:30pm Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre 40 Liberty Bridge, London E20 1AS (nr Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park)