#294 Turned Table - Tag
64x84 cm | Filler, oak frame
The assignment for the visitors in this version of the participating art project TABLES, called TABLES Tag, was to put their mark or signature in the wet filler on the table. To do this, I provided them with a simple tool, a round wooden stick.
The TABLES project is part of the Res Ipsa compilation, which consists of images made by making traces in the wet filler. Res Ipsa is about how language access opens a gap between the subject - the experiencing, self-conscious self, and the rest of the world - the material reality, other people, but also one's inner self, the unconscious and the self as flesh or body. And how this isolation creates a desire to leave tracks, to influence and shape the environment outside us. To constantly leave behind us evidence of our existence, like small beacons in the darkness of material reality, testifying to our presence for other subjects, as blind and wandering as us.
The part of graffiti culture called tagging touches on this. The anonymous tags are a relentless reminder of the existence of other subjects, unknown to us, but sharing the same reality. In this way, it is also about ownership. About the right to the same place, about the right to the physical materiality. With language, power has colonized reality, through legislation, laws and commands. But language is also subversive - the writing on the walls speaks against power. And above all, the ever-growing, seemingly irrational graffiti spreads in the cracks of the structures of power and erodes them slowly but surely. As someone wrote in the picture - "Thank you life" - life has a way of always persevere.
TABLES Tag was performed during the exhibition Tablet at Risør Kunstpark in 2020. Tablet is a series of images that deal with how language, to exist, must always be manifested in something material, but that it is at the same time fluid, material independent and transferable from one shape to another.
I am particularly interested in the word group names. A name is an avatar for the subject in the world of language. Signs that do not signify a category but rather a specific and unique position. The signature of a work of art, its legal connection to an artist, is problematized through participatory art where the audience is a co-creator, in the same way, that graffiti and tagging challenge ownership of the public space.
TABLES is a triparted art project. First, it is a participatory art event where I invite the public to do a mark or imprint 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.