[I stand before a seated audience.]
There’s three things that I’ve got with me. There’s PaperWork magazine that is over there on the table; a print-out – with some notes – of the text that I have in PaperWork magazine; and also my notebook, which I might refer to at some point.
So the text that I have in PaperWork magazine is called Exercise and it operates sort of like a poem within in the book. The unique thing about PaperWork that I decided to use in my work is that it is loosely bound with an elastic band so that you’re able to pull the text out- I’ll be able to find it really easily as it’s crumpled from the last time I did this.
So yeah, it’s here. And when you release it from the book it then operates as a script for performance. But without using this one, I’ll use the one with notes on and I just want to try a few things with you first and then develop some of the ideas. So it’ll take about fifteen twenty minutes, something like that.
ME: Yeah of course the object is the thing itself…
Oh yeah the thing that I wanted to mention as well is that the text is like…when it operates as a script…is like a dialogue between three characters. So you’ve got a sculptor, an art critic and an object. And it’s kind of about the miscommunications and misunderstandings of desire those three parties can have within an art practice.
ME: Yeah of course the object is the thing itself, or it can be a fetish. Its materiality and its body are crucial. Its materiality or its body are crucial of course the object is the thing itself. All day everyday objects are asking me to be things. All day everyday objects are asking to be things.
To become a thing the object must transcend its corpus. It must make us sick with sadness. To transform… To transform the object… to… for the object to become things it must transform, it must transcend itself, it must transcend its corpus to become a thing so that it’s no longer and object. The thing must transcend itself, transform from its corpus and become the thing.
What the hell are you talking about? Can’t see that I’m plagued that I’m sick with nostalgia, I’m just rot and memories? Sick with nostalgia, rot and memories…
[I walk off-stage and out through the Fire Exit door.]
… Sick with nostalgia. What the hell
are you talking about? Can’t you see that I’m plagued that I’m ill with nostalgia that
everything I touch becomes a thing? Why you…What you talking about; phantasms and refrains? …
[I return to the stage, through the same Fire Exit door.]
nostalgia and rot. What you talking about? I must become a thing…
[I step over cables and crouch behind a plinth with a computer on it. I am not visible to the audience.]
… I must become a thing. Thing.
[I raise my head and address the audience.]
the object that’s talking now.
[I crouch again.]
ME: I must become a thing. I must become thing. I must become a thing. I must become
[I leave the stage and roll back a partition door that separates the performance space from a workshop. I enter and have a muffled conversation with two people who are not at the gallery for the event.]
Excuse me, erm I just wondered if you could do me a favour? I’m doing a performance next door and wanted to ask if you could read something out for me? – Yeah by all means. – It’s just that line. Yeah, yeah, three or four times. – Three or four times? Now? – Oh, whenever you’re ready.
[I return to the stage side and replace the door.]
ME: I make performative objects, y’know, the object in itself is the medium – like money – and ultimately I want to make money. Ultimately…
VOICE ONE : I must become thing.
ME: … Ultimately I want to make money. Ultimately
I want to make money.
VOICE ONE: I must become the thing.
ME: No you misunderstand me sculptor, or else you’re regurgitating, the object must undergo a transformation, it must produce its own effect.
VOICE TWO: I must become thing.
ME: It’s in the ‘the’
sculptor, do you understand me? We must find ‘the’ murder weapon, not ‘a’ murder weapon. ‘The’ murder weapon not ‘a’ murder weapon. The object here decides to become thing. Can’t you see? A thing as it so plainly desires.
Kathryn will you do something for me, if you
don’t mind? – Yeah. –Will you just come over here?
[Both KATHRYN and I walk behind and away from the audience body and the stage to the gallery window and have an inaudible conversation. Meanwhile IAIN enters the gallery late and stands behind the audience.]
Hey! Iain! Do you want to join in? – Yeah sure. –OK…
[Break in footage. All goes black for half a second though thirty seconds have actually
elapsed and I am now in a hut at the far end of the gallery space.]
KATHRYN: All day every day.
IAIN: What the hell are you talking about? Can’t I am plagued that I am ill…
KATHRYN: All day every day,
objects are asking me things.
IAIN: …with nostalgia. Everything I touch becomes a thing. What are you? Why are you talking about phantasms and refrains? I am nostalgia and rot. What the hell are you talking about? …
KATHRYN: All day every day, objects are asking me
ME: I must become
IAIN: …Can’t you see that I am plagued, that I am ill with nostalgia…
ME: I must become thing!
IAIN: … that everything I
touch becomes a thing. What are you? Why are you talking about phantasms and refrains? I am nostalgia and rot. What the hell are you…
IAIN: …talking about? Can’t you…
[I leave the hut and address IAIN.]
Iain, will you begin
with the line ‘Cease! Desist!’?
IAIN: Cease! Desist! Can you hear it? Endless demands. Cease this trickery!…
KATHRYN: All day, every day, objects are asking me things.
[KATHRYN and I have another inaudible conversation at the window.]
KATHRYN: All day, every day, objects are asking me things.
IAIN: …I am bound
to the symbolic! Desist in your demands on me.
[I return to the front of the audience to address JESSA inaudibly.]
IAIN: Cease! Desist! Can you hear it? Endless
demands. Cease this trickery. I am bound to the symbolic
KATHRYN: All day! Every day objects are asking me
things. All day! Every day objects are asking me things.
JESSA: I must become thing. I must
[JESSA moves from the audience to another window to the left of the stage.]
I must become thing!
IAIN: Cease. Desist. Can’t you hear it?
JESSA: I must become a
[I lead all participants to the far end of the gallery space, behind the large hut structure, obscuring us from the audience.]
[Two minutes pass. All participants simultaneously shout their lines twice. I lead participants back to the audience and collect my papers from the stage.]