#282 Turned Table - Review
64x84 cm | Filler, oak frame
This work is produced during the art event TABLES - Review which was executed at the opening of the exhibition "Tegning og tekst" (Drawing and text) at Tegnerforbundet's gallery in Oslo. Visitors were invited to respond to the work as it was, by making imprints with wooden shapes. The participants' response, thus retroactively became the work. Since they had only two forms at their disposal, a square and a cross, their response was expressed more through an aesthetic language than a rational one.
Gathering consumers response, opinions, and shopping patterns is a growing industry. This information is of great value. You can perceive it as commodities produced through evaluating labour. A job we as consumers mainly perform for free. We are not used to our opinions and experiences having a value for others than ourselves. On the contrary, we are likely to appreciate that someone wants them, and to have the opportunity to express them is often perceived as valuable in itself.
Capitalism has thus managed to further perfect its modus operandi. Consumers perform labour through their consumption, which generates exchange value for those who have the means to gather the information that this work creates. Employees' work is thus doubly exploited, first by producing the goods and then by providing information about their consumption.
This is a series of works that use squares and crosses as compositional elements. The very components that constitute so-called checkboxes on questionnaires with prepared answer options. It is a tool for different types of surveys and application forms—systems for sorting people into different categories, and for maintaining various types of boundaries and constraints.
They are an essential part of an expanding neoliberal organisational culture where measurable results are crucial. Efforts are analysed against predetermined standards to increase economic efficiency. Language is trimmed for aesthetic qualities in favour of a strictly rational understanding. These works want to illuminate and challenge this trend by deconstructing one of its primary forms.
TABLES is a triparted art project. First, it is a participatory art event where I invite the public to do a mark or imprint of their choice in the wet filler inside a frame with legs attached, placed on the floor like a table. The table functions as a kind of recording device documenting any movement transcending its surface. Second, I exhibit the table and its surface-document of the event as it is. Finally, the legs are detached, I finish the work, tilt it, and turn it into a painting with the title Turned Table.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.