Carali McCall (b. 1981, Canada) is a London based artist whose practice is engaged in drawing and performance. Awarded her MFA at Slade School of Art and PhD at Central Saint Martins, McCall is involved in rigorous academic research and presents her work alongside a range of audiences and disciplines; represented by Woolff Gallery in the UK, and Gryder Gallery in USA; McCall is co-author of the Bloomsbury publication, Performance Drawing: New Practices since 1945; and has recently been awarded Arts Council England funding for her artwork, RUN VERTICAL (Running up the Side of a Building).
McCall began her ‘Circle Drawing' artworks in 2004 where she focuses on the durational element and physical process of drawing; this is a series of works using graphite on paper, drawing a continuous line her full arm's length in a circular motion to the point of complete exhaustion. Influenced and shaped by the landscape of performance art and the conceptual thinking of the 'line', McCall's work has consequently interrogated how the body moves through space; using (herself) the runner to articulate a form of drawing that tests the body’s physical limits. McCall has made works that involve running over snow-covered flat Canadian landscapes, through tunnels, and across horizon lines to explore the performative. Vital in articulating ‘running as drawing’ is the notion of a conscious act and the questioning how using the discipline of training can introduce new ways of understanding the body.
McCall proposes that drawing is not only connected to movement but can be located in a larger inquiry into the performative nature of human activity. During her physically demanding performances, either to camera or as live events, artworks are positioned to extend the mind/body problem and follow a trajectory of artists' works that consider the body as material and tool to draw. In ambition, McCall references Matthew Barney and Carolee Schneemann. Her visual language and gestural work is evocative of conceptualist artist Tom Marioni. Exploring endurance, the process of drawing, line, time and repetition, McCall, is questioning what the role of the artist means today and what can be considered drawing; PhD thesis title; The Line is a Brea(d)thless Length: introducing the physical act of running as a form of drawing (2014, British Library).
Podcast interview by Nicola Blake: Artists Inspired : EP01: Carali McCall
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