‘In Eulogy’- Francisco Corbett at the Skeleton Park Arts Festival

Blending dance, painting, performance, sound, and projection, Francisco Corbett’s In Eulogy at the Skeleton Park Arts Festival was truly an interdisciplinary performance.

Drawing inspiration from artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and situations of action painting, Corbett’s gestural method was engaging to watch and experience as an audience member. By loosening the boundaries that often exist between mediums in art, the performance invited the audience to think of the crossovers that can happen when mediums collide.

Corbett enters with angel wings on and fellow performer Emily-Kate Taylor, and onstage, two large white canvases with projected circles were transformed over through the performance of live action painting. Prior to Corbett’s performance, DJ Tedwin92 played an eclectic set that spanned recent hip hop and dance tracks. In Eulogy unfolds in a series of free gestures, operating as a dialogue between the two performers about shedding identities and art’s capacity to be porous and open to chance. The performance felt simultaneously over-saturated and ambiguous, which was an interesting combination to experience as an audience member. The performance was lacking a central thread tying the various elements together and perhaps tried to do too much without generating a feeling of purpose or intent (the question of what was the concept of the performance was lingered afterwards).

By leaving traces of the performance through gestures on the canvas, the performance can exist beyond the timeframe of this live event. By using both spray paint and paintbrushes on the canvas during the live event, Corbett’s performance of In Eulogy could serve as a reminder that art is an act which requires an ability to let go. The performance was accompanied by a soundscape of dark synths which created an atmosphere which complemented the painting and contemporary dance.

On the canvases, the words ‘resident’, ‘habit’, and ‘domain’ were spray painted, which opened up questions in my mind about identity, permanence, and belonging. A mood of mourning and transformation was communicated through the symbolic death of the dancer on stage and the sonic atmosphere.

Corbett embodies a refreshing sense of freedom that enhanced the collective experience of the performance with others in the park. As an accompanying element to the live event, Corbett currently has paintings up at the Elm Cafe at 303 Montreal Street for the public to enjoy. As a community event, the Skeleton Park Arts Festival was successful in providing a context for local artists and creatives to collaborate and perform for a local audience.

Francisco Corbett is a Guatemalan-born, Kingston-raised painter, performance artist and founder of art collective, ForWorld Studios, in which he produces large scale pop ups, concept shows, and art galleries. He is currently working on a new brand – Dogville. His recent performance of In Eulogy was apart of the Skeleton Park Arts Festival, and took place on June 17. An authorized recording of In Eulogy can be found here.