To get the full effect this needs viewing longways and the head needs to be lifesize!


Doing something for the first time has its own quality that is difficult to recapture second time round. Take 1 of Smudgeface had us both laughing the whole way through. In reshooting the film to sort out some of the technical issues to do with the glass and its reflection the film lost it´s freshness. So we´ve stuck with the first version despite it being somewhat rough and ready. It´s interesting to think about what consitutes quality.

How the old man waited for death is a game Trish and I played this afternoon.

We had spent much of yesterday waiting, in various ways; for a file to upload, for a good idea, for a bus. That morning we had chosen the Estonian fairytale How the old man waited for death as the title for our next pairwork piece, but we did little about it. Today, in a roundabout way we made the piece after waiting a whole day for it to occur. The piece arrived in the form of an object-based game. The rules were simple:

Take turns adding or removing elements to a constantly morphing sculpture.

We gathered the elements from a barn next to MOKS that is full of detritus from an old collectivised farm that used to function here. I cleaned the bits and we laid them out in the studio room.

This connection to Moost might make the sculpture site-specific but we make no reference to this history in the game. We are not concerned with history right now. Our play is entirely in the moment. Of course, its hard not to make associations. When we had finished I thought Richard Hamilton´s take on Duchamp and Trish thought Alexander Calder, and Erwin Wurm once we involved our bodies. However, these associations are irrelevant.

We said nothing during the making. We were intentionally silent. I felt great tenderness for the thing we made. We didn´t mean to make anything good, we just meant to silently stop waiting.

Constraint, support, tension, dependency and vulnerability all characterise pairwork. But can these be given physical form?

For half a day we attached ourselves to each other via a length of fishing wire and then went about our normal business – walking, shopping, working, cooking, eating, napping, using the bathroom etc. To extend this performative experiment we then staged a few actions for the camera. Small gestures didn´t register, and for the Buster Keaton style effect we were after the threads connecting us needed to be tense at all times. We were left with the frustration of how best to communicate our morning´s efforts, and how to develop the video work. Two very different directions: One performative, experiential, an intervention in everyday life, a subtle experiment on ourselves and those we came into contact with. The other a performance – straying into contemporary dance and movement.