PLINTH ACTION #1, 2, 3, 4 AND 5
THE WHITE HOUSE STUDIO PROJECT
I have developed and researched the “Plinth Action” series of public performances since early 2010, subsequently the first “Plinth Action #1” was presented in Kensington Market in 2011. “Plinth Action #1” was a durational piece that started at 12:00pm and continued for the next six hours, ending at 6:30pm. “Plinth Action #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5” has been presented in public spaces for extended hours (approximately two to six hours) on the last Sundays of every month in Toronto, Canada. Subsequently, “Plinth Action #2, 3, 4” took place in the same public space every month. Adding two plinths to the public performance every month, the plinths were augmented in volume and reduced in size, creating a stagnant composition and suggesting a subtle formation of hierarchical system. These public interventions brought the museum/institution-mounted structures to the public, re-examining the artists’ roles in relation to the establishment and academia. Who picks what? Why? And how is it presented? The bodies of the performers were raised ascending on these plinths out-thrusting from the ground, forced in by weights, thoughts and fears to extend through. The brief experience of selfless action of vulnerability around masses of whispers, static observation in attempt to understand the moving image of us not moving created an image of immobility, restriction, and concept out of context into the most appropriate locale. The dynamic had changed from doing into fanatical uneasiness and a strong connection that transpired among all performers. “Plinth Action #5” took place both in public and private spaces; it was part of the Art Spin event in Toronto, Canada.
Number of issues I thought about since I have worked on this series of performances: relative raised levels resulting in deposition of susceptible issues of representation to the surface and/or descending levels into the ground. Movements-art movements-Performance-actions and the performing arts in communities and entertainment. The importance of volume-size-height-the scale in comparison to the average person. Artists’ positions, roles, and responsibilities-art establishments and academia, public-private spaces.