Laura Morrison: Call Bird

October, 2017

A character has fallen out of an ancient portal into an overgrown rural setting… They want to build themselves a body. A wire carry-cage for chickens with leftover straw works well for the torso. At the back of a low-ceilinged bunker some mouldering records are on the ground. One is good for the head. On the cover sleeve her face is turned to the left in profile with blue sky behind. A broken typewriter and a bunch of poison ivy serve as the pelvic region. And so on.
Call Bird is a layered scenario consisting of a scenic backdrop for the delivery of live speech and movement. This new work initiates oblique entry points to a short text about a character without a body. The text is perhaps untouched by attempts to access it, activating instead a network of rich and disturbed life peripheral to its central content. As with other iterations of Morrison’s work, Call Bird is something big-ish made from something small. 

Morrison is working with Emma Hoette to realise Call Bird for Quick Millions. They were kindly hosted by Hospitalfield in September.

Working with writing, performance, painting and scenic design Laura Morrison makes lush, semi-absurdist spaces that revolve around a central figure. Temporary wall paintings, sparse objects and loose, indicative texts and drawings form part of a diagrammatic approach to hosting narrative elements and the physical qualities of a situation or story in suspense. Her motivation comes from a desire to inspect and unpack seemingly minor episodes of emotion and sensation by turning them into spectacular, theatrical subjects for remembrance and scrutiny: the light at a certain time in the afternoon, a specific proximity, a throwaway comment. Morrison’s work attempts to create potential for performance and extra time for living with a fact or a feeling where subtle moments can be the springboard for whole bodies of work.

Laura Morrison was born in London and is currently based in New York. Recent exhibitions and projects include Feral Kin, Auto Italia, London (2017); We Do Not Speak But Confine Ourselves Briefly To The Surface; A Dramaturgy Of Interiority, The ICA Theatre, London (2016); Their Wedding, a commission with Beatrice Loft Schulz for Sophie Jung and Garret Nelson, The Swiss Performance Awards, Basel (2016); Safe, HOME, Manchester (2015); Bottom Natures, Café Gallery Projects, London (2015). Morrison’s writing has been published by Cornerhouse, Ingrid and Montez Press and an artist portfolio was recently published by BOMB Magazine. Residencies and fellowships include Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland (2017), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, USA (2017), Pioneer Works Studio Residency, New York (2016-17), I-Park residency, Connecticut (2016) and the Open Sessions Program at The Drawing Center, New York (2014-16). Forthcoming projects include a performance with Lauren Bakst for Skowhegan performs at Socrates Sculpture Park and in Spring 2018 Morrison will work on a new commission with Beatrice Loft Schulz. Morrison has an MFA from Goldsmiths and BA Painting from Chelsea, both in London.