Updated: Oct 26, 2018
Surprisingly I found myself standing and listening to the live art performances for the first time in my life.
A UK nationwide curatorial project fig-futures brought four exhibitions to Kettle’s Yard in one month, and for the final week two artists Patrick Coyle and Francesco Pedraglio presented their work independently. Here I would like to share the latter artist’s work.
The exhibition is a continuous performance – says Francesco Pedraglio, and he is right. I guess I am always trying to place everything in shelves like acting, painting, installation, etc. without thinking much. It is easier. Though, any exhibition should take your mind a bit further – and then the performance begins.
Spoken Sculptures #1 to #6 come together following a strict script. All the objects are placed on a grey fabric and all of them are placed on the wall during the artist’s performance.
Just imagine a task – adopt the sculpture as your own persona and write in the first person what it might be thinking. Here it looks that everything is done vice versa. The play is set to stage, but instead of artists, sculptures come to play roles. Stories, events, humans, flies combine, one sculpture follows another, the performance finishes, everyone claps and feels happy. However, I feel that I couldn’t catch all the ideas at once. Three days after the performance I am still thinking about spoken sculptures, and one in particular. Visually awkward – three big fabrics with colours blue, red and burned orange, but it feels that it does not matter that much. It clearly shows the point of the story.
Things happen. You tell somebody about it. You tell somebody about it sometime later. Does it surprise you that stories don’t match the reality? Can you blame time for that? Does it really matter how much time you wait for the story to be told? Is it possible that you preserve exactly the same words for the story? There is no listener in the script. Just imagine that it is written from the perspective of the listener, not the teller. Would it be good to be just a pot, constantly and accurately repeating the reality?
I came back to the gallery to take the exact story with me. Read it below. What do you think?
The bee and the tiger – Spoken Sculpture #5
(in 3 ACTS repeated twice 6 years apart)
Fabric of variable dimensions, spoken words.
The same voice recounting the same story twice. Picture a speaker. Let’s call him X. Imagine an event that might have happened to X causing him to tell a story. Let’s call this story Y. Now imagine that X, for reasons we are not given to know, decides to tell that very same story a second time, yet 6 years later. Let’s call this story – which is nothing but Y yet 6 years down the line – Z.
X tells Y and then forgets all about it. 6 years pass, and he decides to tell it again. Strangely enough he realises that, while thinking he would be telling Y, what he finds himself recounting is actually Z.
X wonders why this happened. He searches for differences between Y and Z and can’t find it. It is indeed the very same text. So, logic demands that, if there are only three elements in the equation – X, Y and Z – and if none of the above seem to have changed beyond any reasonable doubt, then the problem must lie in time itself, in the way those 6 years dividing one telling form the other are perceived.
For instance: what if we measure those 6 years through the comparative lens of a western honey bee’s life? How many bees would we need to place in a hypothetical temporary line to bridge that gap? Not many. Something like 18. And if putting them all on an imaginary row, like a bee-stick object, they would be nothing like 20 centimetres. Then again, all would be different if we would choose a different animal. A tiger, for instance. Because 6 years down the line our feline would be exactly the same, just a bit older and wiser.
Castle Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AQ
3-7 Oct 2018