Craig McCorquodale is an artist based in Glasgow, working across a range of forms but mainly performance. He thinks of performance as a kind of combat sport — visceral, capricious, bound up in spectacle.
He works with professional and non-professional performers to give form to social sculpture, where we might recognise our own humanity in the struggle of another. He has made work with children, an embalmer, construction workers, a 100-year-old, librarians and the men in his family.
Craig often works with ideas around brokenness, language, the mundane and the theatrical. He questions what’s at risk, who enters the stage and how young artists can make work at scale.
In making new work, he is currently being supported by FABRIC, Tramway and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Craig has previously worked with Battersea Arts Centre, National Theatre of Scotland, Quarantine, British Council and has toured internationally to Wunder der Prärie Festival at Zeitraumexit (Mannheim), VIERNULVIER (Gent), Theater Neumarkt (Zürich), Triennale Milano (Milan), Evergreen Brick Works (Toronto), Sydney Fringe and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. He regularly collaborates with Mammalian Diving Reflex and 21Common.
In 2021, Craig was awarded the Jerwood Live Work Fund which supported Craig to undertake a yearlong collaboration with construction workers and other artists to build new ways of working in live performance. Construction sites are unfinished landscapes, where we see beyond the surface, which is akin to the purpose of performance. This open-ended process will explore happenings between artist and other, the material processes of construction and the possibilities of different live arenas.
In 2023 Craig was selected for the Jerwood New Work Fund. Through this fund, Craig will develop a new site-specific work for a hilltop between performance and live cinema. Inspired by the paintings of Bruegel, professional performers and local people will work with a camera crew over ninety minutes to create a panorama around the theatricality of everyday life. The work will premiere in 2025 and the New Work Fund will facilitate a significant step-change in Craig’s practice as he leads a large team, works between forms and pushes the aesthetics of contemporary performance and socially-engaged practice.
When asked what he was looking forward to about his Jerwood New Work Fund project, Craig said,
This project marks a change of pace for me, as I scale up my work and consider ideas of spectacle. I’m looking forward to all of it, but especially meeting new collaborators, connecting internationally and discovering what happens when the theatrical rubs up against the everyday. I’m currently thinking a lot about the painted scenic backdrops in old films and wonder how these vast landscapes might exist in a community context.