A 1 hour video/performance work by Mark Carr and Trevor Johnson
‘The Scream’ is an autopsy of mental ill health. As a person who throughout his life has periodically suffered from mental ill health, but without a diagnosis until two years ago, I have drawn deeply on my own experiences to make this video/ performance work. It is a work of deep significance for me and I hope for others who have similar issues.
For the first time as an artist I have worked in cooperation with another video/sound artist – Trevor Johnson. This was an enlightening experience and led me to use visual and sound ideas I may never have explored.
The work is to be shown in a cinematic/gig environment. The main video work is an hour in length which will be projected onto a large 3m x 7m screen. This will be supplemented by a live stream video performance by me, simultaneously projected onto two smaller screens situated in front of the large projection screen. The music/sounds in the video are an important and integral aspect to the work. The sound needs to be loud enough to allow the audience feel and not just hear the work.
The work comprises of six distinct phases. They are not titled, but do explore various aspects of the ‘headspace’ that is created when one is unwell – hyper – morose and lost. The title is derived from a physical action I sometimes take to quieten the voices and delusions crashing into my head. In simple terms, I shout out, both internally and externally, in an attempt to block out of the things and ideas that are making ill.
This phase explores the initial crashing of voices in my head when I begin to become ill. It also begins the journey of self-awareness about my illness, which until two years ago, I really did not understand or even believe I had. This continues periodically throughout the work.
This phase explores aspects of when I become hyper, loud and want to tell the world what I think. It is also links my musical background as an artist.
This phase explores my total disgust for the human race when I become ill. It is hard to explain this manifestation, but it wells up inside to the point where I believe there is no merit for the existence of homo-sapiens and that the species is a plague on the universe.
This phase explores those long dark periods of morose despair and confusion.
This section explores how sometimes the ‘head-space’ just spins and spins and no matter how hard you try, the carousel will not stop.
This section explores the possible ‘end game’, which has yet to manifest itself. It is an imaginary me where my head steadily becomes overwhelmed by voices, ideas, worlds and confusion.
At the very end of the work an old man walks away from the screen. In my live streamed performance, I turn and walk away from the camera. It is a symbol of hope – the ability to quietly walk away from the madness of it all – life.
I am currently working with the independent cinema/gig space ‘The Star and Shadow’ situated in Newcastle upon Tyne, to facilitate a performance of the work in early 2020.
— Mark Carr 2019