Usurp Art is proud to present the premiere screening of “And I”, an eight hour collaborative video work by performance artist and notorious orator, Marcia Farquhar and experimental filmmaker, Reynir Hutber.
The video will begin at 12pm and conclude at 8pm. Between 6pm and 9pm there will be an opening/drinks reception to celebrate the film’s debut.
Speaking without edits of sustained pauses, Farquhar’s monologue, occasionally interrupted or prompted by Hutber, is improvised and entirely unrehearsed. “And I” is an act of endurance for the performers and, potentially, the audience who are free to leave and enter the gallery at will. The video, which is the length of a traditional working day raises the notion of thinking, speaking and remembering as forms of unacknowledged labour. “And I” runs for the full period of a galleries’ opening hours and can be played only once in any one location – despite being a document it has the temporary quality of a performance.
The work draws inspiration from playwright, Samuel Beckett, and artist/filmmaker, Andy Warhol, whose durational screen tests of celebrities and ‘superstars’ disturbed the division between a film and a photographic still. As the film evolves, the line between an artist interview and a performance for camera will be blurred as different ‘personas’ and ‘voices’ emerge. The relationship between memory and fantasy, as well as theatre and reality, may be called into question. The aim of this work is to evoke a, perhaps uncomfortable, space between interview, tutorial and performance, the tone oscillating between the mundane and the theatrical and the atmosphere shifting at times from sociable and humorous to personal, exhausting and obsessive. The epic monologue may stop being about communication and become, instead, about staving off silence.
The work is based on an original idea by Hutber and draws on the long-durational live works of Farquhar. The work was produced in partnership with the Live Art Development Agency and was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England www.artscouncil.org.uk. ‘And I’ is a touring work that will premier at Usurp Art, reflecting Hutber’s long association with the gallery.