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video credits:Tony Wadham

We chose to approach the commission as a 2 week residency within the installation space of Shadow Spans, in which we would publicly be 'at work', devising a performance piece. We were interested in observing the conventions of the gallery space, and the myriad of ways that people responded to both the art work, and to the expectations that a group of performers set up in a space. 

The culminating production, Figure Stuck, Stuck is a response to the delicate set of contradictions that we felt in Claire's work; its sense of indoor, intimate spaces merging into outdoor facades; its incongruous textures that invite a desire to touch, combined with its precision placement that suggested nothing should be moved out of place;  a hint of voyeurism, griminess, mixed with a shiny and definite sense of display. The piece reflects the challenges of placing the live and ephemeral dancing figure within such a solid, and seemingly permanent installation structure, and searching for an equal sense of gravity.

DKHP was commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery to create a work within and in response to the Bloomberg Commission, Shadow Spans by Claire Barclay. They presented Figure Stuck Stuck in Jan 2011.      


We began dialogues with Claire about the processes and decision-making in her work, following from our research in People Working, that involved the deconstructing of 'work' conventions and motivations. We discovered parallel concerns between Claire's and our own practice, including questions around the engagement and participation of the viewer, and his/her invitation to enter into an experience containing complex, yet navigable strands of ideas and imagination triggers. 

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Image credits:Tony Wadham

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