Silent Sticks is a mixed media installation staging the emergence of the professional actor in the early modern period. The work foregrounds new aspects of performance and labour from the 1500s as operational in contemporary capitalism.
The research addresses strategies of identity and performance adopted by early modern itinerant actors and explores their relevance for understanding precarious labour in our own time. Employing common objects as props, the gallery stages one historical period through another to show the present-day as both different from, and yet redolent of, early modern times. In keeping with early commedia dell’arte theatricals, literary, historical and economic themes are interwoven to test out understandings of fact within rehearsals of fiction.