This multi-media performance installation transformed an unknown space in Gateshead Civic Centre. The piece was inspired by the work of Joseph Beuys and compared the ‘Actions’ of this artist with some of the actions that occur within the Civic Centre.
The piece utilised projected light, a slide show (that interweaved images of building projects with Beuys’ ‘coyote installation’), a soundtrack (by Rob Robinson) and performance. The event took place in an access stairwell that was normally closed and overlooked. People entering this space saw me sitting on a low stool facing the wall, dressed as Joseph Beuys. If anyone wanted to speak to me, they rang a bell.
Though initially conceived as a light and sound installation the environment became a private space within which, over a period of three days, over 100 conversations took place – about art, public space, creativity and work. The space became a workplace confessional and, inadvertently perhaps, the installation fulfilled Beuys’ notion of social sculpture.