John Court — 8 hour performance
Saturday 24 November
10am–6pm, free drop in, no need to book
|Spacex presents the first UK performance in over 4 years by Finland based, London born artist John Court. Court’s performances have captivated audiences worldwide at events such as Guangzhou Live Art Festival in China, ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Finland (both 2010), the Venice Biennale (2005) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004).
In this performance we will witness the artist bringing together other aspects of his interdisciplinary practice including sculpture and drawing. Court will empty and adapt the largest gallery at Spacex in anticipation of this expansive presentation unfolding over an 8 hour period, an intentional reference to the 8 hour working day. The performance can be seen as a way of marking time as we witness the artist pushing his body beyond exhaustion. Throughout the performance slight movements will provide the only sounds as the artist remains silent, void of engagement with the audience.
Court will interweave personal experiences encountered throughout his life, from childhood to the present day. We will witness interactions with modified versions of familiar objects encountered throughout education such as desks, dictionaries, pencils and paper that will only function with support from the artist. Encounters with these objects will reference the difficulties that Court encountered throughout his education, the artist left school unable to read or write. The physical endurance of the 8 hour day references his experience of manual labour, having worked on building sites in and around London for many years before being introduced to art. We will then experience elements of alienation and solitude, referencing Court’s experience of living in rural Lapland, unable to speak, read or write the native language. Court will also reference his relationship with Spacex, in part by responding directly to its unique industrial architecture. Spontaneous acts will reference the moment in which the artist finds himself.
This work offers an insight into the process Court endures in producing his work, some individual pieces taking up to 400 hours to complete. Commissioned by Spacex, the performance marks the end of John Court’s first UK solo exhibition The Work Between the Lines, 29 September–24 November 2012.
John Court was born in 1969 in Bromley, Kent. He graduated from Camberwell School of Art, London in 1994 and from Norwich School of Art and Design in 1997 with a degree in Sculpture. He moved to Finland in 1997, and lives and works in Lapland, close to the Arctic Circle.
John Court Interview Part Two
In this interview, John Court offers an insight into the performance aspect of his practice.