If you help me make a decision, that is a collaboration.
Long tables can be located in the politics of congregation by looking at one occasion when Danish furniture designer Piet Hein tried to intervene in peace negotiations after the Vietnam War.
Hein contacted the parties after he heard a rumour that the delegates could not continue because they were in dispute about the shape of the table. He offered his design—the super-elliptical table—believing that the elongated circle would quell hierarchies suggested in a rectangle, or avoid the overt utopianism of a round table. Shortly after, negotiations started up again, not around Hein’s table, but likely after the diplomats abandoned the shape of the table as the foremost pressing subject—though pressing enough to summon a hiatus on political arbitration.
If you get in my creative vicinity, that’s collaboration.
To observe the movement of people at long tables now is to observe the same etiquette practiced at the urinal, or on public transportation—one does not seat themselves next to another if the entire table is unoccupied, or sparsely occupied. You must gravitate to the spaces between, but certainly not beside.
While long tables are generally employed to seat a large number of people in league, on the occasion of celebration or commerce—from dinner party to peace negotiation—presently, the most common place to encounter a long table would now be in a design-friendly cafe or restaurant.
If I ask you, “what’s another word for ‘democratic’?” that’s also collaboration.
No Monologue is a group exhibition of works by Dustin Brons, Gabi Dao, Scott Kemp, Kara Hansen, Emma Metcalfe-Hurst, Ellis Sam, and Zebulon Zang. Regarding the long table as an inherently social fixture in light of the changing politics of congregation and the increasingly idealized collaborative impulse, the artists will respond to a 24-foot long table installed in the gallery.
Note the following changes to the exhibition No Monologue by the following artists:
2-channel video by Zebulon Zang, Moment in the Sun (2015) is now accompanied by a trough of complimentary matchbooks, edition of 100.
Video work by Ellis Sam, All, Right, Type (2015) has been replaced by All, Right, Type + Afterword (2015).
Modem provided by Zebulon Zang, placed and installed by Gabi Dao.
Exploded stress ball (yellow & white) incident is considered adjacent to the interface of Emma Metcalfe-Hurst’s I’m So Stressed Out (2015). Additional instructions inserted into Rolodex.
These alterations have been implemented of the artists volition and aspiration to treat the exhibition as an on-going event, a window of time to pursue renewed dialogue, address recent exchanges between the artists, curator, institution and related publics. Thank you for your attention, enjoy the exhibition, take a matchbook, “zone in and out. Walk around. Leave to smoke. Enter, exit. Sit. Lean.” *
—Steffanie Ling, Curator
* Salutation from Notes from the Overcoat and the Undercoat (2012) a script for costume by Tiziana La Melia for The Part of No Part (2012), 221A curatorial residency project curated by Dan Starling