On Demand

The Centre of Attention
67 Clapton Common, London, September 2005
On Demand, works by Oreet Ashery, The Guerrilla Girls, Ben Morieson, Eileen Perrier, Markus Vater: You may select a work by one of the artists and arrange for the Centre of Attention to bring the selected work to your home. If you wish they will discuss it with you, and with your permission document it in the environment it is viewed in.

I volunteered for Markus Vater to visit my home. Usually I experience Art outside my flat. This was different I was letting Art in. Now the visit has been and gone and Markus has left me with a homemade bomb.
He arrived on his bike, his plinth, of course, in an IKEA bag courtesy of Gary and Pierre (from The Centre for Attention). Markus spoke of his seeking to explore the notion of taking a photograph, the belief that the photographic act steals a little part of the soul of the subject that becomes trapped forever in the image. Gone forever from the control or will of the subject. It seems apt to unpick this idea at a time when the line between gossip and fact has been blurred by surveillance and opportune digital evidence. Everyone is a reporter, a maker of opinion. Look I was there! It’s documentary evidence! It’s on my phone!
I thought Markus approached the series of poses he made, with the things in the flat and objects he brought with him, as a series of drawings, each mark (pose) inviting the next. Markus began the process by stealing a few bytes of light from the computer screen. He explored the space, he set up the shots, I colluded in the acts, I pressed the button, I took the image. My flat is awash with accumulated trash, retrieved proof of extravagant consumption, things that might still be recycled, repaired, maybe remade. I gave Markus carte blanche to move or use anything in the flat. Finally he separated a partly trashed alarm clock, battery exposed, he found some coiled BT wire and chose a couple of refilled water bottles. Somehow with his black tape they could become this other fearful object, and before he had left he'd made the bomb.
Elaina Arkeooll



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