(SFX of an old thread being exhumed...)
I think there are some issues here about the nuances of terminology
Parreno classifies this as a "group show", not a theatrical
performance, happening, intervention, whatever. He (presumably
ironically) refers to "my notion of ‘postman time’" as representing
the form of 'delivery' which the show takes, hence the title "Il
Tempo del Postino".
We can all agree (and presumably Parreno and Obrist would too) that
performance art has a rich history. Perhaps we can say too that
‘postman time’ is not necessarily an innovative concept. But as a way
of packaging for a general audience some visual artists into a show
where tickets need to be sold, maybe it's not so bad. It's part of a
much larger festival, mainly of performing arts, which is aiming to
rival mainstream events like the Edinburgh Festival. If they had
billed this event as performance art or live art, I wonder if it
would have attracted such attention? Whatever we may feel about the
originality or otherwise of the curatorial premise, it's certainly a
bit more challenging for punters than the usual operatic fare served
up at the venue...
Also I note that they seem to have set a condition of NO film or
video, though musical scores are okay. As a set of constraints for
artists to work around, it's reasonably interesting. I won't be able
to see "Il Tempo del Postino", but if anyone on the list does please
tell us what the experience is like.
Oh, and did anybody actually enjoy "Zidane – a 21st Century
Portrait", Parreno's previous project of note? There is a rather
ascerbic critique of this piece (in German only unfortunately) in
Spike art quarterly, '„Zidane“ als second BEST':
On 18 Jun 2007, at 14:56, Sarah Cook wrote:
> hi Chris
> broadly I agree, and I didn't mean to come across as defensive (or
> indeed as Annick pointed out, surprised; that was meant as an
> ironic kind of question about the gap between art and new media,
> but nevermind).
> Still I am surprised at the way they think 'an exhibition delivered
> to an audience' (a quote from Parreno) is something new... as all
> broadcast media, including the internet, have long been based on
> this. And artists working with new media have tried to disrupt that
> for just as long as well!
> I'd be interested to hear thoughts from other list lurkers about
> curating time-based arts exhibitions where the time of delivery/
> experience is built-in to the idea of the 'show.'
> from sunny! Sunderland,
> On 18 Jun 2007, at 13:53, Chris Byrne wrote:
>> I'm surprised by the defensive tone of some comments about this
>> news snippet. Somehow I suspect the statement by Hans Ulrich
>> Obrist and Philippe Parreno has been (perhaps unwittingly)
>> I don't think they are claiming that this is the first time
>> something like this has EVER happened. The way I read it was that
>> this is the first time that their particular notion for a
>> curatorial collaboration, in the new context of this festival,
>> could occur; implying that they may do something similar again,
>> somewhere else. Note that the statement "this group show aims to
>> redefine how visual arts can be experienced" is NOT a quote from
>> the curators; most likely some marketing copy written by the
>> Festival's PR department. Meaningless hype is nothing new in the
>> world of theatre, or the arts in general!
>> I can't see anything to worry about...
>> On 15 Jun 2007, at 11:23, Sarah Cook wrote:
>>> hi crumbs
>>> as a complete aside from the interesting discussion re Second
>>> Life, I just got this notice in my inbox about a series of
>>> commissions to happen in Manchester curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
>>> and Philippe Parreno (http://
>>> www.manchesterinternationalfestival.com). It reads:
>>> >The question becomes... what if having an exhibition is not a
>>> way to occupy space, but a way to occupy time...?
>>> >With up to 15 minutes of ‘exhibition time’, each artist is
>>> creating their own distinctive work - inviting guest performing
>>> artists, specially commissioned music - but none using film or
>>> video - to create this new form of group show.
>>> >By focusing on time-based work, this group show aims to redefine
>>> how visual arts can be experienced. Set in a theatre, it
>>> transforms the established gallery model into an exhilarating,
>>> shared audience experience.
>>> >“The title of the piece relates to my notion of ‘postman time’,
>>> and the idea that this exhibition is delivered to the audience
>>> rather than the audience walking through it in their own time,”
>>> comments Philippe Parreno.
>>> >Hans Ulrich Obrist adds, “One of the things that Philippe and I
>>> have been discussing since we met each other is what would happen
>>> if you have a group show exhibition where each artist would not
>>> get space, but each artist would get time? And so that is the
>>> point of departure. And through a dialogue with Manchester
>>> International Festival – where everything is new – there was a
>>> possibility for the first time to actually realise this.”
>>> Gosh, is the gap between the Media arts world and the
>>> contemporary art world so big??
>>> (the list of artists includes the likes of Matthew Barney,
>>> Douglas Gordon, Rirkrit Tiravanija)
>>> First, none using film and video?
>>> Second, the first time this has been possible? What about artists-
>>> TV projects? Streaming web projects? make-tv.net?
>>> Third, is there no sense here of a history of performance art? or
>>> artists interventions in theatre spaces (such as Janet Cardiff
>>> and George Bures Miller's videowalks)?
>>> It seems as though they've asked artists to become commissioners
>>> (or impressarios?). Is it all to be 'live'?
>>> Hmmm. If anyone is going, please report back.