Live cyclical performance/installation | 1997

And was an ensemble performance originally for 10 artists and performers: film-makers, actors, dancers, painters and sculptors. Different phases of action were repeated in a continuous cycle of approximately 40 minutes throughout the day, extending beyond the opening and closing times of the gallery. Spectators walk among the group spread throughout the gallery. The performers met in different combinations and broke simple actions into discrete parts, playing various sections backwards and forwards. Performers would sychronize, using simple phrases to establish a rhythm (like playing a piece of film back and forth). This established – accidentally – a primitive dance through repetition, based on ordinary action: a greeting, passing a coat, giving a present, offering a crisp, etc. It suspended progression and held a moment in pulsing, stuttering stasis.

And was developed with an Artsadmin bursary and later funded by the Arts Council of England and the British Council.

Previous performances

  • South London Gallery, 1997. Performed by: Peter Arnold, Kirsty Alexander, Brian Lipson, Graeme Miller, Florence Peake, Jan Pearson, Phillippa Stanton, Gary Stevens, Michele Smith and Jeremy Stockwell. The second performance block included: Gareth Brierley, Tamzin Griffin, Amanda Hadingue and  Barnaby Stone. Curated by David Thorp.
  • MOMA, Oxford, 1998. Performed by: Amanda Hadigue, Florence Peake, Liz Kettle, Rags Capell, Emma Benson, Michael Sherin, Alice Blackley, Ian Bourn, Peter Arnold and Gary Stevens.
  • Desviasciones Dance Festival, Madrid, 2000. Performed by: Miguel Angel Altet, Susana Casenave, Jorge Horno, Kontxi Lopez, Monse Penela, Raquel Ponce, Veronica Regueiro, Grego Viera, Amalia Fernadez Sanchez, Cesar Guerra Camara and curated by Maria La Ribot and Blanca Calvo
  • Switzerland Tour at Theatre de L’Usine, Zoo, Geneva; Arsenic, Centre d’Art Scenique Contemporain, Lausanne; Haus Kronstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland in 2002. Performed by: Carine Barbey, Tobias Beyer, Diane Decker, Sophie Dubrocard, Louise Hanmer, Sarah Jagge, Urs Jucker, Christophe Jaquet, Dorian Rossel and Stephane Vecchione. Organised by Thierry Spicher, Florence Chapuis and  Maren Rieger.
  • 11° Panorama Rioarte de Dança, Centro de Arte Helio Oiticica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2002. Performed by: Alcione Silva de Carvalho, Alex Monteiro, Ana Gastelois, Andre Vidal, Beto Pacheco, Claudia Muller, Claudio Lacerda, Claudio Ribeiro, Daniel Valentim, Daniela Mattos, Edson Luiz Farias, Fauller Freitas, Fernanda Avellar, Georgia Goldfarb, Gustavo Barros, Lilyen Vass, Luca Loureiro, Martha Moreira Lima, Micheline Torres, Priscila Teixeira, Stela Guz and Thiago Granato. Festival Art Director, Lia Rodrigues.

“For seven hours each day, Stevens’ team are locked into repeat performances of a 35-minute sequence of minutely choreographed tableaux vivants that turn the participants into a conscious installation… the closer you look, the more you become distracted by the detail, the “and another thing” of it all. With their faces firmly impassive, the effect can be comic, like watching an aerobics class of malfunctioning Stepford Wives. But there sweating mannequins retain enough traces of their humanity to lend them the forlorn dignity of Beckett characters. You may just find your feet refusing to leave the gallery.” The Independent

Photographs: South London Gallery, Vit Hopley; Arsenic, Lausanne, Yann Mingard.