Photos: Robbert Pauwels
Until now I have "colonised" with this fleet of paperboats in locations where the public can communicate with me while I'm focussed on "colonising." Then the focus was on the conversations and exchanges.
Here the 'frame' creates a distance between the watcher voyeur-buyer and the object for sale or display: a woman in a window, herself occupied with objects as symbols that claim a form of ownership. The physicality of the window-walls creates a distance which is emphasized by the lack of eye contact and the cryptic nature of the activity in a shop window.
I chose to make the performance only 8 minutes long not just because of the theme of "8" for the event
but to frame the performance in space and time. I took an acommercial approach by not having the performance
announced, so the only people who saw it were those standing on the right side of the window at the right time.
The work was about observing a person within a frame preoccupied with imposing order within a confined world, and within her mind in a smaller world. Note: the Aalmarkt has been a Leiden market place since the middle ages.
This fleet of boats, made from my sons' schoolbooks which bear tell-tale signs of learning to write, and learn about the world, in Dutch, hails from 2002 when I first set out to Colonize the Cornmarket pedestrian street in Oxford
. For this context (and these performances are all about context) I focussed on colonising for just 8 minutes inside the shop window and then left the boats on display (and as a residual) for 8 days.