Here's your chance to be destructive in the name of art. Take a watch, beat the watch with a hammer, put it back together. How's that for art?
As part of the twelfth edition of PS122’s Coil Festival, Performance Space 122 and The Invisible Dog Art Center co-present the U.S. premiere of Worktable, an installation by Kate McIntosh from January 5 to 9, 2017. Taking place in a series of rooms, visitors are instructed to select, destruct and reconstruct domestic objects. McIntosh seeks to explore the sociability of repairing something that someone else has broken and our inherent variations of destructive and creative impulses, while questioning ideas around the value of and violence towards objects.
Worktable takes place in a series of rooms, which the audience moves through, one at a time. Once inside, they choose an object for which they are then given equipment and instructions to break as viciously or thoughtfully as they wish. Following this, visitors will attempt to put each other’s newly broken object back together. In this way, the decisions the participants make on how they deconstruct an item will affect someone else’s ability to reassemble it. Later on, visitors view each other’s work, exchange experiences and create storytelling around it.
Following a simple structure, the actions visitors are asked to perform are simple, tactile, and practical. The complexity of the piece lies more in the process of choices that people have to make as their moving through – which object to take apart, how to break it, and deciding what putting something back together even means. Worktable exposes the range of different responses and emotions that people can have when it comes to breaking something apart, and the individual questions that this personally raises for each participant.
“The first thing that one thinks about on leaving Kate Mcintosh’s piece ‘Worktable’ is the nature of the creative act, and how destruction is an inevitable part of that process.” – James Smith, This is Tomorrow (UK)
Kate McIntosh is an artist based in Brussels and working across the boundaries of performance, theatre, video and installation. From New Zealand and originally trained in dance, she has performed internationally since 1995 - appearing in the work of many directors, for example Wendy Houstoun (UK), Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre, Cie Michèle Anne de Mey (Belgium), Random Scream (Belgium), Simone Aughterlony (NZ/Switzerland) and Tim Etchells (UK). In her own practice Kate has developed an internationally recognized body of artistic work which has toured extensively in Europe as well as to Asia and the Americas - including the performance solos All Natural (2004), Loose Promise (2007), and All Ears (2013) and the larger performance works Hair From the Throat (2006), Dark Matter (2009) and Untried Untested (2012). Her installation works include her recently debuted In Many Hands (2016), De-Placed (2008 with Eva Meyer-Keller), and the participatory installation Worktable (2011). In these creations she has invited collaborators such as Tim Etchells, Eva Meyer-Keller, Jo Randerson, Lilia Mestre, Charo Calvo, Diederik Peeters, Minna Tiikkainen, Mikko Hynninen, John Avery and many more.
Kate has directed several short videos that have played at festivals and exhibitions the world over. She was a founding member of the Belgian performance collective and punkrock band Poni, and she holds an MRes in Performance and Creative Research from Roehampton University (UK). Kate regularly teaches performance practice within various university courses.
Together with Diederik Peeters, Hans Bryssinck and Ingrid Vranken, Kate is a founding member of SPIN - an artist-run production and research platform in Brussels, who also organize publications and events for knowledge exchange.
About The Invisible Dog Art Center
The Invisible Dog Art Center is housed in a three-story former factory building in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Built in 1863, our 30,000 square foot facility has been the site of various industrial endeavors – most notably a belt factory that created the famous Walt Disney invisible dog party trick, from which they take their name. The building remained dormant from the mid 1990’s to 2009 when founder, Lucien Zayan, opened The Invisible Dog.
The Invisible Dog is dedicated to the integration of forward-thinking innovation with respect for the past. In 2009 the building was restored for safety, and has been maintained over the years, but otherwise preserved in tact from its original 1863 form. The rawness of the space is vital to the space’s cultural identity.
The ground floor is used for exhibitions, performances and public events, featuring artists and curators from round the world. This floor also includes a new pop-up shop, designed by artist-in-residence Anne Mourier, conceived as a new home for independent, commercial designers in various fields. The second floor and part of the third floor are divided into over 30 artists’ studios. The third floor, luminous and spacious is used for private events, exhibitions, performances and festivals. Finally, the Glass House is a brand new, seasonal exhibition space dedicated to featuring the work of female-identified artists.
About Performance Space 122
Performance Space 122 (PS122) provides incomparable experiences for audiences by presenting and commissioning artists whose work challenges boundaries of live performance. PS122 is dedicated to supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives. We are an innovative local, national and international leader in contemporary performance.
Beginning in 2011, PS122 embarked on one of the most unusual and potentially radical shifts in its history, including a re-structuring of artist support, a business model overhaul, and the renovation of our building. As PS122’s East Village home undergoes a much-needed interior renovation supported primarily by the City of New York, DCA and DDC, PS122’s core activity continues to be providing audiences with contemporary live performance.
For over 3 decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community. Under the curatorial vision of Vallejo Gantner (Artistic Director 2005 – present) PS122 has developed a set of programs designed to re-establish the value of live performance, provide singular experiences for audiences that inspire critical thinking, and sustain the creative process for artists throughout their career. Largely in partnership with peer organizations, PS122 currently presents artists in all disciplines in spaces all over the city during an annual fall & spring season and the Coil festival in January.
In addition to the commissioning and presenting of artists from NYC across the US, and around the globe, PS122 has increased our activity off the stage to provide audiences with a variety of access points and context for the work on stage. These activities include both talkbacks with the artists as well as in depth conversations that bring together luminaries from non-arts disciplines to discuss a variety of topics including everything from religion, to migration, to queer real estate and cultural diplomacy. PS122 encourages the asking of questions and debate of contemporary society’s issues in both artistic practice and audience experience.