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Cally Spooner, Gary Stevens and Imogen Stidworthy present new performance works at Loughborough University

Cally Spooner, Gary Stevens and Imogen Stidworthy will present new performance art works at Loughborough University on March 27 2014.

Talk/Action is an evening of new work focused on speech, conversation and communication, commissioned by Radar, Loughborough University’s programme for contemporary art.

Academics from the University’s Discourse and Rhetoric Group (Department of Social Sciences) have worked with the three artists to share the latest thinking on verbal discourse and rhetoric, helping to develop these new works.

In particular, artist Cally Spooner has worked with academics including Liz Stokoe, Professor of Social Interaction, to analyse a conversation between Lance Armstrong and journalists from the Daily Mail, in which the shamed cyclist apparently confesses feelings of remorse over his drug-use. Spooner’s work uses a variety of musical and visual devices to communicate what is revealed within the numerous pauses, repetition and hesitation of Armstrong’s words. Spooner is the recent recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award and recently performed at Tate Britain as part of the BWM Tate Live series.

Imogen Stidworthy will present a live performance entitled Introduction to BLISS for 2 voices and a chorus, involving conversations between two individuals and a chorus of voices. The improvised exchanges will reflect on the nature of dialogue itself, processed musically through a live mix.

Lastly, Gary Stevens’ work Mislay involves four performers who rehearse and re-enact a short sequence from an early film, circa 1930. They repeat, refine and correct the action and speech, playing all the parts in turn to demonstrate and argue subtle differences in the manner and mode of the performance. The scene is created entirely through verbal description without set, props or costume. As the situation unfolds the audience can consider the stances, timings and gestures of the original performers.

Nick Slater, Director of Radar, commented: “Loughborough University has an international reputation in the study of discourse, rhetoric and conversation. In Talk/Action we use this knowledge of the technology of conversation, with artists and academics working together to inform brand new commissions.”


Thursday 27 March, 7pm

Martin Hall Theatre, Loughborough University

Free event but tickets should be booked at

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 14/54

  1. The Lance Armstrong video which has inspired Cally Spooner can be viewed here: 

  2. More information about Loughborough University’s Discourse and Rhetoric Group can be found at
  3. Cally Spooner lives and works in London. Using theory, philosophers, current affairs and pop cultural figures as alibis to help her write, and casts of arguing characters to help her perform, Spooner produces plotless novellas, disjunctive theatre plays, looping monologues and musical arrangements to stage the movement and behaviour of speech. Recent work has explored how high performance economies have affected speaking as a live, undetermined event. Her work includes writing, film, live performance, and broadcasting. Spooner’s productions have been presented at Performa 13, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; KW Institute, Berlin; Wysing Art Centre,UK; Jeu De Paume, Paris; Serpentine Gallery, London. Cally Spooner is a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists 2013.

  4. Gary Stevens is an artist who creates performances and video installations, working with a wide range of visual artists and performers from diverse backgrounds. His solo & ensemble works have been presented internationally in gallery, theatre, festival and public spaces. He won a Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts (1998), a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award (New York) in 1996 and a One to One bursary from the Live Art Development Agency (2005). He has taught in many art schools since 1988 including Goldsmiths, Wimbledon, Byam Shaw Schools of Art, and Middlesex University. Since 2007 he has been a part-time lecturer at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. He ran a regular monthly Performance Lab at Toynbee Studios for Artsadmin from 1999 to 2009.

  5.  Imogen Stidworthy's work addresses aspects of communication through the voice, as sculptural, spatial, sonic and linguistic material. She reflects on how we locate ourselves in social space through our voices, and how we are positioned by them. Her work has been presented recently in solo shows in, amongst others, AKINCI Amsterdam (2010 and 2013), Matts Gallery London (2003 and 2011), and Arnolfini, Bristol (2010), and in major group exhibitions such as Bergen Triennale 2013, Busan Biennale 2012 and Documenta 12 (2007); her curatorial work includes a two-part exhibition focusing on the borders of language, at MuhKA, Antwerp (2008) and Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona (2012). She was the recipient of the Liverpool Art Prize 2008 and the Prix de Rome (NL) 1996, and her work is in collections including Centre Georges Pompidou, MuhKA Antwerp and FRAC Bourgogne. Stidworthy has taught in many art schools and research institutes including a guest professorship at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna and as Advising researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht (NL); she is currently as a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

  6. Radar is Loughborough University’s contemporary arts programme. Radar hosts three seasons of work each year, each inspired by a particular area of research or inquiry that is current and being investigated by both artists and academics. For more information on this and all other arts events taking place at the University go to
  7. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.


Helen Stallard
(PR on behalf of Radar)
M: 0774 033 9604

Alison Barlow
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228696

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224