performance in gallery

My ONCA Story by Elly Clarke / #Sergina

2019 Performing Artist

In Spring 2019 I was awarded a small grant by CHASE Feminist Network to fund a performance about wellbeing in the digital age to be performed by my (open source) alter ego #Sergina.

How Are You? #Sergina’s Participatory Soap Opera about Wrestling with Wellbeing in the Digital Age from Roux Malherbe

At the time I was doing my PhD at Sussex and new to Brighton. My supervisor Kate O’Riordan suggested I contact Persephone at ONCA, who, together with Lydia and all staff, was incredibly friendly, generous and enthusiastic, from start to finish.

‘How Are You? #Sergina’s Participatory Soap Opera about Wrestling with Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ was a four hour durational performance that explored fantasies and realities of (invisible) (female) (sexualised) labour in the context of data gathering and analysis, and wellbeing. Performed by me and my long-term collaborator Vladimir Bjeličić, who I’d been working with by that point for four years already, this was the first performance he and I had ever done together in the same space as opposed to online, via Google Hangout / Skype / Zoom. So this was a significant show for us.

In the end we had only 5 days in person to figure it all out! ONCA was fab though, lending muscles, genius sawing skills (Lydia!!) and ideas for how we could best use the space, which we divided into two. ONCA also sourced gallery assistants, who (very generously) donned the #Sergina t shirts and became part of the performance. ONCA also took really good photographs during the performance, which have been super useful in developing this work further.

I performed again at ONCA (as #Sergina) in February 2020 at Nadia Buyse’s curated show LOUD + CLEAR, which was also a very lovely experience. Here is a blogpost written about this work after repeating it via Zoom during lockdown.

Follow #Sergina’s Story

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