I performed Quid Pro Quo together with Paul Wye, on the 4th of July 2019, the opening night of our joint exhibition at Brixton Library titled with the same name. The latin phrase Quid Pro Quo means ‘a favour or advantage granted in return for something’, a trade-off, an exchange in which one transfer is contingent upon the other. This is the core idea of the piece, that these two beings act always in relation to each other, that one action leads to the other’s reaction, that depending on what one does, the other responds. We developed the piece through improvisation and selection, building a loose narrative surrounded by the themes, ideas and feelings we were interested in: the offering, the gift, human and animal social interaction, territory, intimacy, rejection, isolation, rituals, magic, spirituality, remorse, transgression, etc. An important criteria for us was to create something that was very ambiguous and open to interpretation, and that could provoke in the viewer a mixed sense of familiarity and alienness.
The idea of curating an exhibition together also relates to the idea of interdependency and connection in ‘quid pro quo’, our individual artistic practices ‘meeting’ and the works selected responding in multiple ways to each other.
Paul and I designed and made the costumes and the masks together and it was our first collaborative project. Thank you Eva Palazuelos for taking such beautiful photographs of the performance.