Considering that the best way to keep a performance alive is to repeat it, the German artist Thomas Geiger invited 28 artists to share their inconspicuous concepts of art pieces dedicated to public space and its haphazard onlookers. During the month of September Geiger repeated these concepts himself within Paris during the 2nd Festival of Minimal Actions.
24. Sept—21. Oct
Rosa Sijben & David Bernstein NL/US
MAGNUM SPATULA & OBJECT
I carry a work by Rosa Sijben & David Bernstein in my pocket. During the entire exhibition period I take it with me everywhere I go. Feel free to ask me to show you the work. (First performed in Amsterdam-New York-Cincinnati-San Antonio, 2012)
Romain Gandolphe FR
I sit on a bench and count out loud as far as possible. (First performed in Lyon, 2014)
Anna Witt DE
I ask strangers at the station if I can frisk them and if they would do the same with me. (First performed at Munich Main Station, 2005)
So:ren Berner SVE
I ask random people to enter a rowing boat. With full concentration and without talking to the audience I row: SILeNT CITY. Each letter is to be rowed in full length of the boat, the entry and exit point of each letter is done when the front and the back of the boat has passed through. Between each letter is a break of 3 seconds. (First performed in Zug, Switzerland, 2015)
Jiří Kovanda CZ
On an escalator … turning around, I look into the eyes of the person standing behind me … (First performed in Prague, 1977)
Christoph Bruckner AT
I draw circles on squares and sidewalks by putting a stone under my shoe and a twist of 360° on one heel. (First performed in Vienna, 2014)
Eric Andersen DK
OPUS 95—A 3000 m WALK
FOR A GROUP OR SOLO
What appears as the essential thing of this action is the situation(s) in which the instructions mentioned below are being realized. The relations between your attribute(s) and the instruction(s) will always and only turn out to be a multiple of the term: kilometer! The instructions for individual realization are stated in brackets.
select a group of 9 persons from the room and consider yourself a member of this group. Give to each member a number from 1 to 9. (Walk about the town, the streets, the corridors, the room or any other place.)
With this group walk about the town, the streets, the corridors, the room or any other place. (Continue to walk – repeat: hoc volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas.)
continue to walk – the whole group: breathe. (do)
continue to walk – person number (p) 5 in the group: close your left eye. (do)
continue to walk – p 7 in the group: move your left leg 2 cm to the right. (do)
continue to walk – p1 + 4 + 9: look to the right when passing a fiveseater taxi. (do)
continue to walk – p 6: look out of the window. (do)
continue to walk – the whole group: open your right eye. (Wipe out the number 2.)
continue to walk – p 1: touch p 3. (Vary the above mentioned instruction.)
continue to walk – p 9: place your left hand on your right knee. (do)
continue to walk – p 3: light a cigaret. p 4: breathe and wink.(do)
continue to walk – p 1+9: move your right shoulder to your right cheek. (do)
continue to walk – p 2: move over to p 4. (Eat 3 gr. of butter).
continue to walk – p 1: turn around. (do)
continue to walk – p 3 + 5 + 7 + 9: move your head. (do)
continue to walk – p 8: replace p. by t. by n. (do)
continue to walk – p 6: keep your left hand still. (do)
continue to walk – p 4: place your tongue at your lower teeth. (do)
continue to walk – half of the group: do what you would have done in any case. (do)
continue to walk – p 2: notice that it is raining. (do)
Diamond Petrić MNE
I say to a cashier: “You have beautiful hands.” (First performed in Podgorica, 1997)
David Horvitz US
In the middle of a city, starting from one point, walk the distance of the horizon, just crossing over the point of where the horizon would be. (First performed in Berlin, 2012)
Julien Prévieux FR
I am rolling through the city (streets, parks, shopping centers …) (First performed in Grenoble, 1998)
Mladen Stilinović CRO
FOR MARIE ANTOINETTE ’68
I place breads in a row on the side-walk and put paving stones on top of them. (First executed in Copenhagen, 2008)
The Institute for Infinitely Small Things CA
For an hour, I take turns running back and forth in front of the Nike Store. (First performed in Boston, MA, 2005)
David Sherry UK
GREAT MEALS I NEVER HAD
I approach the first restaurant cautiously. Finding a table with dirty plates, I sit down. I make sure no one notices me, then I catch the waiter’s eye and signal for the bill. I say: “That was lovely, thanks can I get the bill?” (First performed in Bamberg, 2006)
between 23. Sept—21. Oct
Rodrigo Hernández MX
GO IN SILENCE
I suddenly leave a dinner without saying anything to anyone. I walk back home alone in the night. (First performed in Venice, 2015)
Jana Kapelová SK
IF YOU HAD TIME, WOULD YOU FIND TIME?
Dressed like a Jehova’s Witness I introduce articles out of contemporary art magazines to the passers-by. (First performed in Bratislava, 2013)
Martín La Roche Contreras CL
VISITS & EXCURSIONS
I arrange 5 stickers as a random pattern and transfer it on a city map of Paris. I go to these 5 places and put a sticker onto an object that I find there. (First performed in Paris, 2014)
Andrew Gannon UK
I wear a T-shirt marked ‘T-Shirt Work’ as part of an ongoing work with no fixed size and no fixed location. (Ongoing series, 2014)
Yann Vanderme FR
TO DO THINGS AT 33%
I wait in line to Notre Dame for 33% of the distance to the entrance. (Premiere, various 33% actions performed in Paris, 2006—2009)
Michikazu Matsune JP
I whisper headlines from newspapers into ears of random passers-by. (Performed in Vienna, 2010)
Steve Giasson CA
INVISIBLE PERFORMANCE NO. 5
For a certain time I adopt the position of Edward Degas’ sculpture Marie van Goethem at a street corner. I remain there standing at rest, legs apart, feet forming the fourth position in classical ballet, hands behind the back, erect torso and head thrown back. (First performed in Montréal, 2015)
Gorod Ustinov RU
I’m looking for my personal “Microsights” on the streets of Paris. (First performed in Izhevsk, 2011)
Rosalie Schweiker DE
A DYSLEXIC MAN WALKS INTO A BRA (variation)
I sit with a friend in a bar and speak about bra-shopping. (Premiere)
Mona Vâtâmanu & Florin Tudor ROM/CH
Empty sheets of paper are launched from a high building as a simple gesture questioning the meaning of resistance. (First performed in Alterlaa / Vienna, 2005)
San Keller CH
SAN KELLER DEMONSTRATES
WITH YOUR MESSAGE IN NEW YORK
I demonstrate with your message in Paris. (First performed in NYC, 1999)
René Haustein DE
RICHTLINIE NR. 275
I walk through the Louvre with my fly open. (First performed at Art Cologne, 2014)
Jeffrey Perkins US
I am chained with handcuffs to a bus stop bench for an indetermined length of time. (Premiere, proposal, Los Angeles, 1967)
Sam Curtis UK
DEPARTMENT STORE AS STUDIO
I go to a department store and re-arrange large quantities of products into new sculptural formations. (Premiere, 2015)
23. Sept—21. Oct
Florence Jung FR
I was wearing a fake rolex during the entire Festival of Minimal Actions. I was allowed to reveal the piece only to those who noticed the watch. (First performed in Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel, 2014)
PLEASE WAIT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS
1.The forthcoming scene might look familiar. I believe you have seen this scene in a movie, written or elsewhere.
2.There is this elegantly moving person on a street, in public transport or in a forest, who becomes a victim of aggression. S/he is sitting still or moving smoothly, not too extravagant, naturally incorporated in the surroundings. S/he is looking through a window or walking from A to B, apparently contemplating another moment in her/his life, enjoying the melancholy of existence, though surrounded by others, with others. Suddenly a stranger enters the scene comes into focus. Usually it’s a male stranger, a strangler. Nervous, unshaved, wearing jeans. He attacks our unsuspicious and calm character. Or so it seems.
3.You feel shocked. I hope you recall memories of a movie now.
4.‘What’s to be done?’ is your natural reaction.
5.If this was not a movie, you might be scared but you know what to do. You know the instructions. You look for your phone. You call. You ask for help.
6.They will help you. ‘Please wait until you receive further instructions.’ This is how they finish the conversation with you.
7.If this was a movie, the attacked character may turn out to be an AI, a robot or an alien. In this way you should not feel too shocked since the victim is not a real person with that skin burning and peeling off. With cold camera lenses as eyes. Still looking at you. Which actually means into the other cold lenses of the cinematographer’s camera. Silicone implants instead of sexual organs. They want you to notice it. It’s supposed to be ok. It’s part of the script.
8.Or have you noticed repetition in your life? Any reoccurring glitches in the political life of your country?
9.Isn’t it another dream and /or a nightmare of scientists to reprogram the whole universe while using robots, nanorobots, and brainwashing on a wavelength level so the universe is programmed at the most fundamental subatomic level?
10.Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, quantum experiment confirms.1
11.Reality doesn’t exist until it is programmed, is set according to instructions.
12.If you are reading it, it means you’ve been already instructed. You obeyed.
13.The grammar is another set of instructions.
14.Who was the first to propose that the world, reality is programmed and programmable? Greeks already knew it. A stereotype answer. That’s why they had gods who already were coding, programming, hacking.
15.Time for some historical art references.
16.“The idea, of course, was Duchamp’s.”2
17.“All that exists, or remains, of Duchamp’s stay in Buenos Aires is a readymade. Though of course his whole life was a readymade, which was his way of appeasing fate and at the same time sending out signals of distress. As Calvin Tomkins writes: “As a wedding present for his sister Suzanne and his close friend Jean Crotti, who were married in Paris on April 14, 1919, Duchamp instructed the couple by letter to hang a geometry book by strings on the balcony of their apartment so that the wind could ‘go through the book, choose its own problems, turn and tear out the pages.’” Clearly, then, Duchamp wasn’t just playing chess in Buenos Aires. Tompkins continues: “This ‘Unhappy Readymade’, as he called it, might strike some newlyweds as an oddly cheerless wedding gift, but Suzanne and Jean carried out Duchamp’s instructions in good spirit; they took a photograph of the open book, dangling in midair (the only existing record of the work, which did not survive its exposure to the elements), and Suzanne later painted a picture of it called ‘Le Readymade malheureux de Marcel’. As Duchamp later told Cabanne, “It amused me to bring the idea of happy and unhappy into readymades, and then the rain, the wind, the pages flying, it was an amusing idea.” I take it back: all Duchamp did while he was in Buenos Aires was play chess. Yvonne, who was with him, got sick of all his playscience and left for France. According to Tompkins: “Duchamp told one interviewer in later years that he had liked disparaging ‘the seriousness of a book full of principles,’ and suggested to another that, in its exposure to the weather, ‘the treatise seriously got the facts of life’.”3
18.Again and again, we may also remem ber Yoko Ono. Her instruction book “Grapefruit” contains a series of “event scores” and was published as early as 1964. One of the pieces reads:
19.“Please wait until you receive further instructions.” Most contemporary artists produced one instruction piece or two. Think of white male conceptualism or projects like “Do it!” on e-flux. Cooking instructions, the Decalogue, dieting instructions, social engineering, social sculptures, tips for better sex, safety instructions, etiquette, etc. Everyone is a guru now and there are instructions for everything. Even robots are learning how to make sushi by ‘watching’ YouTube videos.5
20.This was not written by a robot by the way. Although I am not sure I would pass a Turing test. Remember Gertrude Stein? She wouldn’t.6
21.The last time I took the metro I participated in a surprise performance. A couple was having an argument in public and everyone around apparently was laughing into their palms. Greeks invented drama and the labyrinth. I always feel reminded there. Even on trains. Sometimes they call it bureaucracy, not a labyrinth. Others say bureaucracy and a labyrinth are the same. Some say it’s the creation of public space and democracy that is the most important attribute of ancient Greece.
22.However, let’s return to the performance in the metro. Was it a staged performance? Was it a sign that public life in Greece is going back to normal after hard times of austerity when news about suicides, including in the metro, was in everyday news? Was I witnessing a social sculpture?
23.Have you noticed a lonely man changing clothes or blinking while walking alone in the park?
24.Whatever is your answer is, please wait until you receive further instructions.