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Archived exhibition

A Cut A Scratch A Score

A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE: a comic opera in three parts

David Barnett, Sam Belinfante, Bruce McLean

Featuring Lore Lixenberg, Adeline Bourret and musicians from Dundee

Open Rehearsals:
Tuesday 18 October, 3 – 4pm, Cooper Gallery
Wednesday 19 October, 3 – 4pm, Dundee City Square
Thursday 20 October, 3 – 4pm, Dundee Botanic Garden

5 o’clock Salon: Cooper Gallery
Monday 17 – Thursday 20 October, 5 – 5.40pm, Cooper Gallery, refreshments will be served

Culminating Performance:
Friday 21 October, 7pm, Cooper Gallery, Limited capacity, booking essential

Exhibition: Cooper Gallery
22 October - 5 November

Featuring the renowned Mezzo-soprano Lore Lixenberg and the performance artist Adeline Bourret with musicians from Dundee.

Read The Times review of this project A CUT The Times Review

Thursday 20 October, 3 – 4pm, Dundee Botanic Garden

A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE: a comic opera in three parts is a distinctive new performance and exhibition to be presented in three different public spaces in Dundee. Combining opera, comedy, drawings, sculpture and moving images, this daring work will act as a stage for the city and its people, upon which the comedies of contemporary life will strut, turn and take a bow.

Developed through a close collaboration between David Barnett, Sam Belinfante and Bruce McLean, the project will widen its pool of authors over its five days to include the public and the city itself. As the artists themselves say “It is not enough to merely co-exist. This project is truly collaborative -- it has developed through dialogue and co-authorship". This collaborative focus presents a timely and cogent politics for all of us, a politics that is ‘to the left, to the right and in the middle’.

Live at three venues; a (botanic) Garden, a (city) Square and a (Cooper) Gallery, this Comic Opera will play with notions of seriousness and comedy from within the rich histories of the industries of Dundee; jute, jam and journalism. Through adopting the other popular and locally significant industry of the comic book with its archetypical characters; the mischief-maker, the friendly giant and the ever-present gang of problem makers and solvers, the plot will follow the fortunes of a very rich woman with a large dress who falls in love with a large and obese man, who is dressed as a cowboy and wears a strap-on chin. Delving into obesity, gluttony, avarice, consumerism, deportment, immigration, anarchy and conformity, the story line will chart the ups and downs of our very modern relationships.

Directly following the 5 day performance a gallery exhibition will continue the tale of this comic opera and the ethos of the collaborations. Staged as a ‘process-spective’ constellation of the objects from the performances, the exhibition will deftly avoid the stillness of a conventional exhibition through an evolving rehearsal of the objects themselves. This rehearsal of objects will explore the fluid stories and events that grow and flourish after the performers leave the stage. The exhibition will be, in the words of the early Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, a chance to “See the music and hear the image”.

A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE: a comic opera in three parts presents a classic anti-hierarchical and radical pose and demonstrates a vital collaboration between the artists and also between them and the public. This ethos embedded in the heart of the commission mirrors our everyday world. Every act we undertake and participate in, those million moments of small incidental performance and collaboration, which are always provisional and fleeting, are all that remain to both ourselves and others. A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE elevates this emotive material onto a public stage, to which we are all invited as both audience and collaborator.

This exhibition was supported through funding from Creative Scotland Open Project Fund and the Elephant Trust.

Visit Cooper Gallery Notes on... blog where active members of our audience post their reflections on the project...

AN ACTION OF WORDS - Writers in Residence programme

John Dummett, Ajay AS Hothi and Christina Manning Lebek

During the course of the Open Rehearsals and culminating Performance of A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE: a comic opera in three parts between 17 – 21 Oct, the commissioned writers John Dummett, Ajay AS Hothi and Christina Manning Lebek carried out a 'live writing' action in situ to publicly share observations and reflections in a dedicated space at Cooper Gallery. The observations, reflections, annotations and commentaries are published on a blog

A CUT A SCRATCH A SCORE: A Comic Opera in Three Parts is ‘Pose One – Bruce McLean’ in an ambitious programme Legends of Now,initiated by Cooper Gallery at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and supported by Creative Scotland and The Elephant Trust.

Legends of Now is a series of commissions featuring influential British artists that came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, and who are still making innovative and challenging new works today in collaboration with other artists.

Emphasising process-led public art and performance art, Legends of Now foregrounds the notion of the ‘temporality as monumental’. This approach situated against the backdrop of an expanded notion of artist collaborations and collectives will be explored and demonstrated through a series of exhibitions/events, which take place both in the gallery space (Cooper Gallery, DJCAD) and at a public space in Dundee.

David Barnett

David is a Digital Scenographer with a background in graphic design, moving image and theatre.

He has also led workshops, undertaken commissions and residencies for many arts organisations and has been working for the University of the Arts, London since 2001 presently with with the Graphic Design Communication BA/MA at Chelsea College of Art & Design London.

He has also been a collaborator with Montage Theatre Arts, Bruce McLean and Mem Morrison Company where he has developed a body of work examining the technical and creative boundaries of working with physical, spatial and digital. He graduated from Central Saint Martin's College of Art & Design, Scenographic Design MA in 2000, also studying at Hochschule fur Gestaltung und Kunst (Zurich).

artist's website...

Sam Belinfante

Sam Belinfante is an artist living and working in London.

Since graduating from University of Leeds (BA) and the Slade School of Fine Art (MA), Belinfante has performed and exhibited internationally - including group shows in Stoltzestrasse 11, Frankfurt; REMAP, Athens; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and Tate Britain, London.

Recently Belinfante has been combining his performance and video works in a series of live events at leading art centres, including Milton Keynes Gallery, ICA, London and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge. He is currently developing a new body of work from video fragments captured whilst on a recent Anna Mahler Fellowship in Spoleto, Italy, September 2010.

Since 2008 Sam Belinfante has been working on a series of performances and events devised in collaboration with Hayward Touring for Every Day is a Good Day, a major retrospective of the visual artwork of John Cage, and has shown works in major venues such as Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery and the Baltic.

artist's website...

Bruce McLean

Bruce McLean is one of the major figures of contemporary British Art.

Born in 1944 he studied at Glasgow school of art and at St. Martin's in London, where he was taught by Anthony Caro. He found the attitude there ponderous: "Twelve adult men with pipes would walk for hours around sculpture and mumble." In reaction he turned to making sculpture out of rubbish, to performance art and to producing photographic works in which he often posed.

All his work brilliantly sent up the pompousness of the art world and mocked established art forms. He was given an exhibition at the Tate Gallery at the age of 27. From the late 1970s he has made paintings and prints in which humour remains central.

After St. Martin's McLean went on to teach at The Slade School of Fine Art. His early reputation arose from his activities as a sculptor involved in performance art. He has obtained international recognition for his paintings and prints, work with film theatre and books. McLean's bold and confident approach to print making proved influential to his contemporaries and also to a generation of younger artists.

McLean's work is in private and public collections world-wide and he has had numerous one man shows in both Europe and North America. These include The Tate Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery in Vienna, The Museum of Modern Art Oxford and the National Galleries of Scotland.

Bruce McLean was awarded the John Moores prize for painting in 1985, and was the Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade until 2010. He lives and works in London.

Adeline Bourret

Born in France in 1988, Adeline Bourret lives and works in Edinburgh.

Bourret graduated in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010, and was awarded the Arts Complex Studio Bursary for Recent Graduates on the strength of her degree show. As well as her own practice, she is actively engaged in the Scottish dance and theatre community, undertaking different roles such as design, performance and prop making.

She has exhibited across Scotland and performed and directed works across the UK. In early 2011 Bourret directed Human Symphony, performed by Virginia Kennard at Arts Complex, Edinburgh.

Bourret has engaged in several collaborative projects including residencies with Tom Pritchard (2010/11) and an improvisation/duet with Aileen Dick (2010).

Adeline Bourret’s practice seeks innovative ways of responding to urban environment through immediacy, improvisation and play. Taking visual ‘clues’ from her surroundings and the media, she uses found objects and recycled materials to create structures or sets with which she engages as a performer.

artist's online profile...

Lore Lixenberg

Born in the UK Lore Lixenberg has performed widely in opera, concert repertoire and music-theatre, and works with many leading composers.

She has performed internationally at many festivals including those of Salzburg, Lucerne, Edinburgh and Huddersfield. She has performed with orchestras and ensembles including the Halle, Tokyo PO, Danish National SO, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta, Icelandic SO and Danish Royal Opera.

Lixenberg worked on the development of and played the Roles of Peaches and Baby Jane in Jerry Springer the Opera (Battersea, Edinburgh, NT, West End). She worked on the development of and appeared in Kombat Opera Presents (Richard Thomas, Thea Wiles BBC2) and Attention Scum (Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas). She worked on the development of and played the roles of Millie and Death in The HaHa Hole (Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee) at Hannover Schauspielhaus. She has appeared regularly with Theatre de Complicite including Miss Donnithornes Maggot (Maxwell Davies) and Out of a House Walked a Man (NT). In 2011 she will be performing the role of Cousin Shelley in Anna Nicole(Turnage) in her ROH debut.

As a Director, Lixenberg has presented works at the Margot fontayne Ballroom and the Sage Gateshead amongst other projects. She directed Aria (Cage) Scenes from Staatstheater(Kagel) Sequenza 3 (Berio) and Conversations (Aperghis) for Coma Music–Theatre. In Denmark she directed the ensemble SCENATET in 'Staatstheater' for the Spor festiva. She is currently working with Anne Ryan on Gibb Rish for Moving tone.

artist's website...

Cantoines Sacrae

Cantiones Sacrae is a vocal ensemble that specialises in polyphonic choral music of the Renaissance period although the group also sings music composed in later centuries and compositions by contemporary composers. The group sings all its music unaccompanied with one voice per part, the purity of the voices giving Cantiones Sacrae its distinctive sound.

The Members of Cantiones Sacrae are: Linda Dallas (Soprano), Lisa Rose (Alto), Jonathan Matheson-Dear (Tenor), Graeme Adamson (Bass).

artists' website...


Dundee Drum Academy was established by Chris Morris in 2011 and aims to be the best place in Dundee for drum kit tuition. Music, and in particular instrumental tuition is a vastly underrated and overlooked part of education. Dundee Drum Academy wants to fix this, and help its pupils realise their potential, and experience the joy of learning an instrument.

Dundee Drum Academy's website...

Off site location information:

University of Dundee Botanic Garden

City Square in Dundee city centre near the Caird Hall‌‌

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