At the launch Kelvy read a short declaration to the crowd of 130. She followed this by changing from civilian clothes into the Uniform Set, and then signing a Contract of Action that was witnessed by Imogen Good the Education Officer at McCellland and an organiser of the night’s event.
The declaration was as follows:
As you are my witnesses, tonight I will begin Uniform Year 2017 - 2018, by reading this declaration, changing into the Uniform Set and signing the Contract of Action. Uniform Year is a year long experiment, physically manifested in the wearing of the Uniform Set from today until June 9th 2018.
The Contract of Action states:
I will be wearing the Uniform Set which is a physical signal that I am living a lifestyle of sustainability supporting myself, my practice, my community and the planet.
During this time I will commit to:
Sustained Care: The daily act of dressing will be an opportunity to break, reflect on and re-create habits and rituals that support me in my creative practice.
Sustained Practice: Regular documentation of Uniform Year, tracking my productivity in my studio, and committing to a minimum of 24 art hours each week. This will result in a body of work that will be used as a resource and reference to inform my future practice and an exhibition.
Sustained Presence: Presenting in daily life, and online, in the Uniform Set opportunities for discussion will be created.
My questions are : what is the role of creative professionals in the community? What are the freedoms and responsibilities of those who create cultural material? And in creating and consuming how do shared creative goals reflect long term models of sustainability?
Sustained Connection: The Uniform Set is symbolically and literally using less and recycling more than we do habitually. I promise to reuse the Uniform Set and the knowledge I gain during Uniform Year in my future work.
I will now change into the uniform…”
This week Kelvy has been focused on preparing for a month in Europe to visit Documenta, the Venice Biennale and Skulptur Projekte Münster. Throughout the week Kelvy updates a log of how she spends her art-hours. In addition to the log she writes notes on how Uniform Year is being received. As an experimental project Kelvy often has to think on her feet when answering the questions posed by customers at the cafe she works in, inquisitive acquaintances and strangers, on what she is wearing and why. As she adapts to this new interaction, and casual, yet sustained performance style Kelvy will focus on how she can question her audience in turn. Her aim is to gain a better understanding of how Uniform Year, sustainable lifestyles, and performance art is received and valued by these chance audience encounters.
Above: Kay Abude, First documentation of Uniform Set, 11th June 2017
Below: Jacqueline Mitelman, Launch of Uniform Year performance documentation, 9th June 2017