Monday, April 19, 2010

Take a seat

There was a great art-to-go moment in Auckland on Friday. As part of the Living Room series of art installations curated by Pontus Kyander, et al. and choreographer Sean Curham collaborated over three days in Khartoum Place. Friday was the final day. The installation one-to-many and many-to-one set up a classic et al. enclosure with exhortations on panels and signature grey-painted chairs as well as festoons of pink balloons contributed by Curham. In spite of the collaborative intent themed around ‘issues of altruism and reciprocity,’ by Friday most of the chairs had been marked with Day-glo spray crosses and had been pilled up in a heap outside the wire fencing. This we were told was as the result of a disagreement between the artists just before we arrived. Later that day the chairs were back in lines for a short performance by Tina Pihema. 

Over the three days visitors to the installation were invited to take a chair away with them if they wanted to, and they did. A guy from Tony’s restaurant next door grabbed a few for his kid’s kindergarten which, as he explained, had hardly any chairs at all. After the performance there was a rush for the chairs and frames that were left with people checking out inscriptions and making sure the little wheels Sean Curham had added were still in place. 

We figured the installation was over when the last serviceable chair was carried out of the compound and down High Street. On our way home we saw a small posse of chairs parked outside a Thai restaurant while their new owners had a quick meal.
Images: Top left, chairs evicted and sprayed by Sean Curham piled outside the installation, right, chairs free to a good home. Middle Tina Pihema performing and audience. Bottom chair collector, user and waiting to be taken home.