barbara
philipp


Opening

Performance realised in Frankfurt a. Main (Germany), 27.02.2002
Watch

The performance takes place in a room without any decoration. The walls are empty, and the visitor's first attention is drawn to the opening buffet, placed in the middle of the room. Usually, during an opening there are various and sundry comments that one can hear or say. Private intimate conversations, remarks on the works of the exhibit, different critiques( read/heard), political conversations,etc. Examples of these comments are typed onto white edible wafer paper and also on normal paper, and inserted into the food presented at the opening, making the food and the commentaries the work of art. The participants at the opening can eat the wafer paper without being aware of it. Or, on finding the commentaries they can either choose to swallow them and thus appropriate them-or spit them out and reject them. As a participant at an opening or as an artist showing one's work, what are the reactions and interactions during an art opening? Do we choose to accept these comments or not?

An opening is always a moment when power-structures in the artworld (i.e its attending members) are openly displayed : who has come, curators and media, who is going to write or talk about it ? The informal relations are as important as the work shown. Strangely enough, openings are not a place likely to make people talk exclusively about art. It's a social event, worldly and entertaining, a play spontanely staged by its participants according to non-explicit rules. Those who know the codes of representation set the standards. They are part of the artworld and each opening is an occasion to confirm existing actors in their position. It is a ritual performed to create interior cohesion among its initiés and also to consider new members.

The variety of phrases injected to the food reflects the opening's social importance and also its not-necessarily art –related character. This is stressed by the absence of displayed artworks which visibly does not affect the usual conversations and acting-schemes. The event is in itself its only raison d'être, artworks are secondary.

Proposed plates: Quiches of various kinds, messages written on paper are inserted.
Cookies with chocolate- chips and typed commentaries on wafer paper.

In collaboration with Nina Levinthal, Albertine Trichon and Tabore Rector.