Yesterday, a group of Young Arnolfini members visited Standpoint Gallery in London to take part in a 2-hour workshop with Duchamp & Sons. The workshop was centred around the Bobby’s Recital exhibition currently being held at the gallery, and touched upon things such as the creative use of musical instruments, sound, language and words.
Here are some of our experiences/highlights of this trip:
One of the things that caught my eye as soon as I walked into the gallery space was the presence of a prepared grand piano, with coloured egg-shells resting on the strings. We talked briefly during the workshop about the strange effect that static instruments have in a space; such as instruments left on stage after a performance, or a piano that nobody plays in a household. I liked the way the piano was presented both as an instrument for performance and as a sculpture.
I was really interested in the possibilities of a prepared piano, and how artists such as John Cage experiment with music. Below is an example of a prepared piano being played:
I was really interested in the elements of performance within the work of the two artists who were running the workshop; Bryony Gillard and Jenny Moore. After seeing some of their work we were invited to take part in tasks.
Bryony had us experiment with words, playing a game of consequences with random sentences, the results of which were often quite surreal and poetic. Unfortunately I think someone picked mine up by mistake, otherwise I’d post some. Then we worked with the piano to see how words sounded once spelt on the piano.
Jenny’s part of the workshop involved the group collaborating to produce a radio show. This one is harder to explain, but the were no rules, only a set of suggestions. As the work developed my group ended up working towards a specific goal, which was translating the sounds of a guitar through phone signals, a toy megaphone and finally the camera’s recording equipment.
The experience gave me lots to consider. I’m starting my final project soon and have been considering moving into performance and video art, and the workshop allowed me to see other artistic methods and results. Overall I really enjoyed the whole day and really look forward to working with Duchamp & Sons in the future!
A poem compiled sentence by sentence from Young Arnolfini and Duchamp & Sons:
I ran down the narrow empty path,
In need of summer sun,
It didn’t matter anyway so I just left and went home,
As long as I get my kiss…