Ev's particular interest in modes and forms of conservation of performance art evolves into experimental and moving re-enactment modalities, that embrace new circumstances and locations. Her approach questions how to frame the essence of a performative works in ways appropriate for sales, archives, transfers of authorship rights, reenactment, reproduction. A part of the collaboration between Caveat and Ev revolves around these questions.
The performance Visitors of an exhibition space are suggested to ‘do nothing’ consists of creating an existential situation in which the visitors of an exhibition space are suggested to sit on a comfortable chair and to get paid for ‘doing nothing’. It deconstructs the idea of 'doing nothing' as losing time, the idea of productivity as valuable, the possibility of being present to yourself as a class privilege.
Once the pilot version of Visitors of an exhibition space are suggested to ‘do nothing’ is realized by the artist HISK Laureates exhibition, Brussels, December 2020, further enactments of the performance are delegated to whoever is interested. The enactment is integrally on charge of the second party.
The performance is written as an instruction piece: a performance score and guidelines for its enactment, framed by a legal agreement defining modalities and conditions of the enactment, as well as reproduction and distribution rights, copyright etc. It allows one enactment.
Visitors of an exhibition space are suggested to ‘do nothing’ can only be enacted by using the Agreement, published in a form of an artist book. Caveat co-produces the project in close collaboration with the artist.
Katya Ev (1983, Moscow, based in Paris and Ghent) carefully constructs situations out of elements rooted in the geographies, temporalities, conventions, social and legal contexts of where she works. She creates acts of subversiveness that have a potential of inspiring political affects. These acts, or “dispositifs” (both material and immaterial, through installation and performance) gain their strength through the relationship between them and their context of exhibition or enactment.
Embracing ambiguities and paradoxes, legality and legalism, and working in an ‘anti-commodity’ logic, she explores how one can maintain and expand the density and presence of projects within museums, galleries, or private collections. Her particular interest in modes and forms of conservation of performance art evolves into experimental and moving re-enactment modalities, that embrace new circumstances and locations. Ev’s approach questions how to frame the essence of a performative works in ways appropriate for sales, archives, transfers of authorship rights, reenactment, reproduction.
During her current residency at HISK, Ghent, Katya Ev develops a new project around the problematics of ownership through a performance published in the form of a contract. It questions the status of enactments and the related intellectual property: is it an original or a reproduction? Moreover, how to deal with the authorship if the performance is delegated to enactor other than the artist - enacted by a third party on the basis of the artist’s score?
Caveat Reading Room #16: Doing Nothing
During this Reading Room, we'll read and discuss Kazimir Malevich's ‘Laziness, the Real Truth of Mankind: Work as an Instrument to reach truth; Philosophy of the socialist idea’ (1921), a text proposed by artist Katya Ev.
Visitors of an Exhibition Space Are Suggested to 'Do Nothing'
Katya Ev's performance Visitors of an Exhibition Space Are Suggested to 'Do Nothing' will be activated from Wednesday 16.12 until Sunday 20.12.2020 and on Saturdays (07.01, 14.01, 21.01, 30.01) from 14h to 18h. Visitors can take a comfortable seat and in return get paid according to Belgium's minimum wage. Your time is unlimited.