The Changing Room, 2013-14
Performance in collaboration with Bruce McLean and Lawrence Preece, 2013-14

Photos: Ludo de Cognets, 2013

The Changing Room is an opera by Sam Belinfante, Bruce McLean and Lawrence Preece.

Based on Courbet’s painting 'The Painters Studio', conflated with Breughel’s 'The Blind Leading the Blind', The Changing Room is a true Gesamtkunstwerk where musical improvisation is combined with a choreography of objects, video and movement.

Through the deconstruction and collision of these historical works the artists have developed a series of drawings that address the perennial artistic dilemma; how to recognise and represent what is heard and not heard and what is seen, as well as, significantly, what is invisible. The libretto is derived from Jacques Derrida’s ‘Memoirs of the Blind’ where the philosopher similarly explores issues of vision, blindness and self-representation, particularly in relationship to drawing. 

These amassing drawings function as graphic scores that are interpreted by performers in a series of guided improvisations. For its premiere performances, the acclaimed singer Linda Hirst was joined by performers from ‘squib-box’ a collective of leading performers dedicated to the production of radical music of all genres.

The work received its first performance to the public on Thursday 8 May 2014 at Leeds Art Gallery as part of Bruce McLean's show Another Condition of Sculpture.