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May 19, 2007

The Showroom: Props, events, encounters: the performance of new sculpture



The Showroom: Props, events, encounters: the performance of new sculpture :: Two-part conference at the Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES :: Saturday 26 May 10.00 – 17.00hrs :: Keynote speakers: Joan Jonas, Andrea Phillips, Jan Verwoert :: Artists: Matti Braun, Pablo Bronstein, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan :: Chair: Sally Tallant

Props, events, encounters: the performance of new sculpture takes its cue from Mike Kelley’s description of the inherent structure at work in the objects that he uses in his performances. He ascribes to these objects a self-governing ordering system that is enacted as they appear in his work, a system that differentiates between objects that stay in the background, contextualising objects and those that will be active within the performance itself.

This one-day conference seeks to examine the emergence of forms in contemporary art in which objects are imbued with a theatrical status, but which avoid a return to Michael Fried’s famous distaste for theatricality in minimalist sculpture. Whilst previous generations of artists might be said to have sought a set of phenomenological relations, now artists form autonomous systems, enlivened in some capacity by the entry of a viewer. These objects attest to philosophies of emergence as well as affect, gift economies as well as forms of magical thinking, the existence of different, perhaps utopian or perhaps avowedly anti-social spaces and times. In these environments the viewer is no longer subservient to the object but is granted instead a personal autonomy. Some of these objects stand in for complex systems of rhetoric, others are simply props in a private theatre in which stories may or may not be revealed to the viewer. Many of these objects, left behind in the gallery, are residues of past events, imbued with the melancholia of lost opportunities. Others are detritus, arranged not so simply.

Props, events, encounters… seeks to address the following questions:
• How are contemporary artists changing the status of the object in their work?
• How might these modifications be aided – and abetted – by the presence of the viewer?
• How do such shifts in attitudes towards objects reflect a changing politics in the status of contemporary ‘sculpture’?

To reserve your ticket please call the gallery as soon as possible on +44 (0)208 983 4115.

Props, events, encounters: the performance of new sculpture is generously supported by The Henry Moore Foundation and Outset.

Posted by jo at May 19, 2007 12:27 PM