THE CRIT PLAY

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A contextual, unrehearsed group performance with selected objects and images, this idea is very experimental. For an end of term project during my MFA, I chose a space in Concordia University’s V.A. building basement as a performative site and used the slightly surreal context of our usual critiques as a starting point. My goal was to set up a completely staged moment, a “private art piece” to be experienced with a specific selection of people, in this case, the intermedia group and faculty as well as the external guests that were present that day. I wrote a script for an illusional and theatrical group critique of some of my artworks. At the beginning of the exercise, each participant received a copy of the scenario and were asked to play their own character, saying what had been written for them at indicated times. The script created a fake discussion about anything that I felt like talking about, from very pointless matters to survival issues. It wandered around insiders and universal questions of beauty, perception, accomplishment, belief, extinction, the art world mannerism and the history of the V.A. building. All of this was implicitly demonstrated through an imitation of a real critique, in which imposed impressions and questions were being raised about actual works that were set up in the space according to an imaginary logic. By creating this uncanny, custom-made and ephemeral experience, I kind of wanted everybody to be collectively stuck in an unreal interaction with each other, with the space, and with the objects that were presented. I wanted to distort an oddly familiar situation, to critically address issues of obedience, vulnerability and confidence and, somehow, ask : “are these fabricated things considered art, junk, commodity, masterpieces, jokes, mise en abyme, decoration, illusory props or validation of truth ?”.

I chose not to record the actual performance, which I regard as a private art piece. The experience was to be shared by a restricted group of people, for whom I wrote a custom script. Some traces of the project can be discovered by reading the scenario and viewing some photos, but apart from that, I am happy with the idea that the complete story will be kept in participants’ memory and only spread by word-of-mouth.

Click here to read the original script :

THE CRIT PLAY

Here are some of the objects and drawings used during the performance, with things that were said about them :

At the end of THE CRIT PLAY, all of the participants were encouraged to keep anything they wanted from the stuff presented. Therefore, some objects could not be documented and will remain legendary.

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