Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 133: ‘Performance to the Exponential Max’

Millie Brown: Rainbow Body Performance

The ongoing pro-performance trend in the art world has come to something of a peak in London exhibitions. To complement the Gazelli Arthouse’s show of Californian light work (to 14th Nov), Millie Brown hung with crystals attached for 4 hours on 4 days – so a not unimpressive 16 hours in all. Ilona Sagar had two actors inhabit her interviews with clinical neurologists and psychiatrists as part of ‘Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye’, her complex consideration of the relationship between body and technology at Tenderpixel: 8 x 3 hour performances x 2 actors = 24 hours. At the Lisson Gallery, Broomberg & Chanarin’s very varied photography-based practice includes not just a film of military drill counterpointed with the clowning of a ‘bouffon’, but an adjoining live performance in which a double shift of drummers play a drum roll for the entire six week run of the show (to 31 Oct): 6 x 46 = 276 hours x 2 drummers = 552 hours. That’s quite a commitment for a commercial gallery to make, but the public sector goes further in the Barbican’s Curve Gallery, the unusual layout of which encourages artists to stretch their capabilities. The whole three-month run of Eddie Peake’s ‘The Forever Loop’ features two dancers and a skater. The naked dancers interact very effectively with synchronised video footage drawing on Peake’s previous work. The skater, clad in a diaphanous costume, glides around the full length of Peake’s sculptural installation. That’s 65 hours per week x 13 weeks x 3 performers = 2,535 hours!

sagar performance

Ilona Sagar: ‘Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye’ performance

Mark-Blower lisson

Broomberg & Chanarin: Rudiments performance

Peake 1

Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop performance

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in London. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, Elephant, State, Photomonitor... and, of course, FAD.