I was asked by The Playing Circle to create something within one day at the Vaudeville Theatre location of The Loft. No visitors, no people around me, all by myself and with the purpose to spread and expose this work on the online channels afterwards.
The outcome of my research to the office space, the act of sitting and eight hour sitting performance for ‘INTERVENING SPACE: Reframing conventions’ is that ‘sitting is the new smoking’; sitting is killing us. And maybe smoking is even better than sitting down constantly, as the activity that goes along with smoking, namely walking, requires us to move our bodies and disrupts our build-up sitting time more often. A necessity.
In continuation of this conclusion, I placed the ‘sitting is the new smoking’ principle [disrupting our build-up sitting time more often and thus change our sitting behavior] in the meeting space of The Loft, and I researched the inter-architecture and our accompanying behavior while literally doing. Simply said: I used my performance techniques of emphasizing, isolation, repetition and over-exaggeration, and I sat on every spot in The Loft that was possible. Everything in The Loft points towards the act of sitting down; the large meeting table, the lounge area, the lunch area and the windowsills. I tried to look through that and created a continuous, physically active routing in which I sat on all the other spots left as well.
We are forced to sit down in these kinds of spaces, because the inter-architecture and our fixed, old behavior tell us to. What if it would be the norm for us to have high standing furniture and spots to lean, lay, walk and bend? Then we definitely would sit a lot less. And what if it would be the norm for us to be in physical motion constantly? Then we wouldn’t be tired that quickly and neither be in a terrible physical state/conditioning constantly, and thus we would not be forced/pushed that easily to sit down…
With my work I am busy with the Mode of our society – what is happening now – societal issues, daily rhythm, conventions, automatism, and thus our fixed system. It is about the identity of our current society as opposed to my own identity. I use conventions and my performances as a research method to question this Mode. Thus, I ask questions by literally doing.
Read the blogpost from The Loft here.
See a selection of photos of the performance underneath and click here to watch the entire performance video. All photos are shot by photographer Marieke Gras.
I also extended my research to the act of sitting and sitting design, because I wanted to experience what kind of emotion and/or what kind of person I became on any of the different regular sitting spots. What do I feel like on which spot? What does this say about my identity, the identity of the society and why? Questions I raise while doing this continuous visual research. Take a look at the selected photographs underneath. All photographs are shot by photographer Marieke Gras.
© Lisette Ros