24 February 2013
Sermon: “discourse, speech, talk”… “a stringing together of words”, related to Serere: “to join.”
“Food is basic to the mythology of most cultures [...] thus the roots of art, storytelling and religion are linked to cooking.” Levi-Strauss.
at the table was an afternoon of performance and reading at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. Presented in a converted 19th Century Parish Church and formed around a three course meal, the event explored ways in which the echoes of the building’s previous functions resonate through its current use as a place of display, exhibition and education, and invited artists and audience to consider modes of address and their relation to architectural and social context. The works drew from the interwoven histories of communal gathering, public speaking, reading and listening, and played with the forms of lectures, sermons, speeches, demonstrations, presentations and recital.
In direct relation to the architecture of the space, Clare Charnley’s work to pace interwove rhythms of walking, speaking and architecture with stories formed around pacing as a process of measuring, and Holly Corfield-Carr’s if these walls could talk drew upon the material limits of space, bringing the gallery walls into a series of conversations and conversions. These concerns chimed through Laura Mahony’s journey around the site during Mirabilis 2013, in which she utilised various methods of communication and arranging the audience. The Endless Inedibility was a series of readings by Patrick Coyle which relate to the ‘edibility’ of certain found and constructed objects, while Kevin Logan’s performance DJ Pedagog: Dialogue of the deaf [a spectral debate] brought in found and collected material in the form of pre-recorded lectures and public speeches on vinyl and reel-to-reel tape, building new narratives and an electro-acoustic environment. Also making use of accompanying props and a number of supporting images, Matthew McQuillan’s Flowers and Obstructions was delivered in the manner of an informal lecture that highlighted the affective quality of an object.
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