an ongoing collaboration with artist Bryndís Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. We have hosted six assemblies to date, four in Paris in the spring of 2012. The fifth in The National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjavík and the sixth one in Edinborg Culture Center in Isafjord in the west of Iceland. The two of us along with selected guests are present. Our participants were those who had received a letter like this one (to Bas Jan Ader hopefully reaching him via message in a bottle).
Guests are thusly invited to assume on a designated role. We correspond with a variety of people during the preparations of the Assemblies, the participants and their roles selected purely from instincts and in each letter the reasons are explaned.
...You are invited to let go of your own persona, partly or entirely, and approach the assembly on your own terms and those of your character in any way you choose to interpret the role. ...
We ourselfes take turn in assuming the role of the Secretary and the Animal.
The Secretary is quietly present with a camera attached to her forehead, a notebook and a pen, documented what went unsaid during the assemblies; what lay between the words and actions of the participants, whatever she detected and found of interest. The secretary transcends the physical plane and is not sexually defined.
The Animal is the host of the Assemblies. Animals are those ruled by intuition, instinct and mood, without censoring or attempting to restrain themselves. The animal is not governed by academic conduct or social manners. The animal makes its own rules for communication and debate, has its own language, knows neither its past nor future and is ever present in the moment. The animal conducted the conversations to certain extent.
A third key role is the one of The unborn person of the future attended the assemblies with different people bringing him/her to life each time. This persona had no presumptions of societal positions, apparent power structures or hierarchies within society. It had no concept of time, sexual definition or self.
We send out letters of invitations, introducing the idea, the roles and the execution. Finally a number of people accept the invitation and the result are the thoroughly documented Assemblies. During the assemblies a flow of converse emerges, transending ideas and reality.
The result is presented in multi channel video & audio installations & performancees. The Assemblies were documented with a camera attached to the forehead of the Secretary, with an audio recorder placed at the center of the gathering, with drawings and texts, written and drawn by the Secretary during each assembly. And finally with the publications of The Assembly of the Holy, a pdf of each puclication can be found here
The performances are done as a re-enactment of the assemblies, we have had young men (17-22 years old) read parts of the second assembly in an event in the National Gallery in Iceland and have further more incorporated trained actors to take on the roles and re-enact Act I&II of the first Assembly in an event in Einar Jonsson Art Museum in Reykjavik.