I agree with Holly that the empty stage has a very different presence from last week. The potential for action has disappeared along with the artists. The fixed exhibition, with its film footage and re-presentation of objects, acts almost as a recollection of the performance from the week before.
The ‘durational’ of the open rehearsals week allowed for viewers to experience the constant change, with decisions being made and un-made by the artists so that even the Culminating Performance was not finite. Although it demonstrated some of the more finely tuned performative actions developed from the week, it also experimented in new ways, and involved the gathering together of previous and new participants who interpreted the artists’ directions in different surroundings from the open rehearsals.
In contrast, the static exhibition feels more clearly defined. The cardboard cut outs are neatly gathered together and face away from the viewer – almost as they were when not in use during the Culminating Performance – however, they have been delegated to the outside space of the Upper Foyer Gallery. We see them in use through documentation footage in the Cooper Gallery but by being separate and away from the stage they seem to be waiting to be moved/removed. Although last week I held the tree, moved the trousers, and picked up the cloud, I wouldn’t dare touch them now. Perhaps with the empty stage they (challengingly?) present too many options, so that no one act would be appropriate?
The chaos, exhilaration and excitement of the Open Rehearsals week has dissipated but the exhibition provides a platform to recall it in part.
I am intrigued to discover more about the MFA collaborative exhibition, it will be interesting to see what choices are made that perhaps wouldn’t have been without the experience of A CUT and An Action.