Victor Burgin’s three conceptual works “This position…”. 1969 – “Any moment…” 1970 – “All criteria…” 1970, each consisting of instructions printed on double page A4 format, must be presented in isolation from each other in a large room or connected rooms that can accommodate an audience. The presentation of the pieces returns to its original mode (transmitted by the French art agent Ghislain Mollet-Viéville following his conversation with the English artist), i.e. instructions ‘cut up’ and placed around the wall in order to ‘occupy’a room. The signed and numbered originals under glass will be shown in another adjacent room.
The activation of each piece is carried out by a nude or semi-nude model with reference to “The Forgotten Guard” dated 1957 by Yannis Tsarouchis. A painting which will be brought to the attention of the audience through documents in the antechamber of the exhibition. The dancer recruited according to the criteria of the Greek artist’s painting will have undergone prior training by the curator and the choreographer to incorporate the principle of the instructions in each of Victor Burgin’s works.
Victor Burgin’s three statements appeal to the somatic and symbolic memory of the reader. Cally Spooner substitutes these mnemonic traces with three of her own choreographic material: “DRAG DRAG SOLO”, 2016; “Still Life, 2018”;“DEAD TIME (Maggie’s solo)”, 2019. The performer led by Cally Spooner will thus draw from this reservoir of gestures and attitudes when Victor Burgin’s instructions command him to refer to a past or future time.
The continuum of the three pieces performed will be presented before the eyes of the public, who will also have access to the performative statements and will be able to act freely within the framework of social distancing policy related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The performer’s embodiment of the pieces, which varies according to his own reading as well as to the choreographer’s and curator’s instructions, is only an indication of the possible form of reception of the conceptual work addressed to the audience; it in no way claims to limit its use.
The title phrase “All Criteria This Position Any Moment”, 2020 that articulates the three respective works by Burgin and Spooner according to a new syntax inspired by Tsarouchis, attests to the intention to link them in the present time, space and body of both the performer and the visitor.
– Pierre Bal-Blanc