Monday, 14 January 2008
Playing in location
The notion of play keeps popping up, as does location, or space.
The conversations about work by Christoph Buchel, William James, Joakim's housing artist and Veronika's show seem to disrupt and explore intimate spaces by creating work with a sense of intrusion. For our next meeting we will be a Veronika's house, and I have this urge to explore her house - to open her cupboards, to check out what's in the toilet cabinet, to look in her wardrobe and to document this - perhaps by recording conversations between different group members, through photography, film and drawing. I guess this is a Sophie Calle-esque kind of exploration, a sort of secret surveillance (or not so secret) into areas of privacy that we normally, through social convention, would not allow. We could challenge those behavioural conventions, and to play with them. (Sorry Veronika if you are freaked out by this!).
If we could explore different spaces (as Candas suggested in the monoploy game), then we could disrupt not only the private space, but the public too (as Amy has done with her bears!). The play people would like to make an appearance by setting up micro-communities in some of London's busier locations - for example, I think my elephant might like to return to the zoo to visit it's family, and the horses may well long for a gallop in Hyde park. These mini-performances (play) could contain an element of public involvement, perhaps by inviting passers by to join in. This aspect of play ties into Tino Seghal's recent ICA show This Success/This Failure, where groups of school children played with the visitors, blurring boundaries of performer, participant, audience, artist and visitor.
Emily Jacir's work is useful, and it would be great to find a way to work with people that is not only fun and playful, but has some form of social content and engagement - a way of setting up some kind of transformational encounter.
As mentioned in my previous post, Allan Kaprow's 4th statement does relate to all these approaches. It is to make work in nonart modes but present the work as art in nonart contexts.
(I hope I haven't come across as a mad stalker who wants to spend time in other peoples drawers, whilst frightening unsuspecting members of the public and talking to herself whilst playing with toys for 5 year olds. But, I may well have done!)