The Waiting Artist
October 2022- Public Performance, installation and packages
Gagosian art gallery, 20 Grosvenor Hill London UK
Photography by Yi Zhang
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I ROCK ON A NON ROCKING CHAIR?
A chair is more than just a seat.
A chair is an occupation of space despite the absence of humans.
A chair is a familiar object, in Western culture one uses it on a daily basis.
A chair, alone, can symbolize loss or hope.
A chair can imply loneliness or a restful place.
A chair can provide a sign of the presence of humans
or it can represent evidence of abandoned communities.
A chair has many faces, angles, and uses, its personality is based on
its design, context, and condition.
A chair can become a familiar “friend” in loneliness,
or a comforting shoulder in sadness.
A Rocking chair is more than just a swing.
A Rocking chair is an interactive muscular furniture.
A Rocking chair is therapy and can reduce pain, anxiety, and depression.
A Rocking chair is a lullaby, its southing rhythm helps synchronize neurons of sleep.
A Rocking chair is an adventure down memory lane
through repetition and meditation.
WHO WAITS HAS FAITH, WHO HAS FAITH CAN WAIT
This story began with the discovery of an art gallery focused solely on performance. “La Juan Gallery” in Madrid which became the provocateur for the project “The waiting artist”. In our initial contact in 2022, I asked if they accept artistic proposals, to which they surprisingly replied: “Yes, we are open to proposals (...) The format is the one you prefer”. During the following weeks, I have emailed proposals, questions, and ideas, but received no reply. The chair I was anxiously sitting on, concerned and confused began to tremble. The feelings were represented by the squeaking sounds of the chair, which led to the physical expression of time. Similar to a metronome, but different due to changes in the rhythm as the chair slowly fell apart due to the weight of waiting.
A rocking chair was invented in 1710 for the main reasons of relaxation and reducing back pain. Rocking in a chair that is not a rocking chair causes the opposite effect of rocking in one that was intended for that. The chairs used for this experience are found in the streets. The material of the chairs is wood, and the characteristics are: used, unstable, weak, and simple. I would choose the abandoned and unwanted chairs that nobody takes. This allows for recycling and reuse as well as revaluation by change of context.
Thinking of an alternative way to provoke the encounter with the gallery, a trip to Madrid was necessary. The act took place in the public space in front of the gallery simply because it was closed. In retrospect, a positive coincidence, it broke the glass wall between the gallery and the public as well as between the artist and the public. No need to wait for a reply to an email, nor wait for approval to share ideas. “Doubt takes many forms” as Jonathan P. Eburne wrote in his book Outsides Theory. To be an outsider means taking seriously ideas that might otherwise be regarded as errant or even unreasonable. It shows how crucial it is to know how and why such ideas have left their impression on modern-day thinking and continue to shape its evolution.
THE WEIGHT OF WAITING
A week after the act of the waiting artist, a trilogy of packages titled "The Weight Of Waiting" was sent to the three Gagosian galleries in London UK. Each package contained a piece of a broken chair, a fragment of the missing art object resulting from he performance. The object came along with a text, content list, and a QR code to a video fragment of 30 seconds out of the almost two hour performance act. The protective material inside the box is residue of variety of sponges. The packages were bought flat and assembled manually - with hands stained in paint - into their 3D form.