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ABOVE: The Conversation (2012) Photograph by Jon Sisson


“I didn’t want to be here. But where am I? I am not there. I am talking to you. But I am not talking to you. I am talking to the gentleman on the phone, who is in turn talking to you. But he’s not talking to you. I’m talking to you. Through him. Or rather, I’m speaking to him. Speaking is perhaps a betterword. But what is the difference between talking and speaking?” [MONOLOGUE EXTRACT]

The Conversation explored issues of time and space, proximity and distance, and the desire to not be present. Standing on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I delivered a monologue via a cell phone to a surrogate performer, who recited my words to an assembled audience on the sixty-first floor of the British Consulate Residence in Chicago. This work developed a strand of my practice that deals with the notion of remote performance – what I have described in previous scenarios as ‘the problematization of presence’. There is the idea of the actor ‘phoning in’ a performance, and in this case, such a notion was coupled with the desire to create the sound of a voice not my voice - or by extension, a body, not my body. This was a form of ventriloquism without the ventriloquist and the puppet inhabiting the same space - or, a solo performance for two.


UK/Chicago, UK Consul General's Residence, Chicago, USA: 04.13.2012



ABOVE / RIGHT: The Conversation (2012) Photographs by Jon Sisson