Over the Table, 2010
5-day performance project for Aichi Trienale, Nagoya
A collaboration with Tim Etchells
Photo: Ichiro Awazu
Over the Table is a five-day performance-installation structured as a series of exchanges across a table. The two artists occupy the gallery space together for the duration of the piece, engaging in a playful and competitive trading back and forth of elements within a set of pre-arranged performative frames.
A series of simple tables are arranged in the gallery space. Each of these tables is set up with particular materials or tools for specific performance activities and tasks to be undertaken by the two artists over the course of each day. Exploring the table as a ubiquitous plane of action and production, communication and exchange (a site of discussions and problem solving, a site of sharing – of solutions, ideas, games), the project approaches the space ‘over the table’ as a series of mini stages at which particular activities and collaborations take place – some more concrete in their relation to acts of production; others more oblique, or “un-productive,” or contemplative, or gestural.
Visitors to the gallery may arrive, stay, depart, and return throughout opening hours and always encounter the artists performing one or another of our tasks and performances. Moving from speech to silent activity, from formal concentration to everyday casualness, from conversation to playful confrontation, Etchells and Horvat map and make use of the different spaces and possibilities in their creative and personal exchange, while exploring ideas of dialogue and relation, of give and take, exploiting the contradictions and tensions that arise from muddling the clear-cut distinction between private and public activity, and private and public space.
Meanwhile, evidence of the varied activities gradually fills the space of the gallery over the course of five days, accumulating alongside whatever is currently happening – the walls filling with collages and works on paper, the video projectors showing looped material recorded on previous days, and so on – creating as well a record of time past, time shared in the space – always offered in a dialogue with the here-and-now, with the current activity unfolding in front of a live audience.