bread bed @ paris (invitation)
December 1, 2005
this is a handbill (english version because many of the artists staying at the cité did not speak french, but did speak english) victor gave to people (again victor thought we needed help and again he was by far the most proficient) walking along the corridor on their way to the opening at the cité’s gallery. the handbill mimics the “official” invitation the cité produces to advertise their exhibits… except for the addition of the text “bread bed” and the “arrow” and the “little poem.”
so… i appropriated the cité’s gallery invitation and placed the bread bed along the corridor which led into the gallery. i was, at one point, officially invited to exhibit in the gallery at this particular exhibition…so my name was on the official invitation. however, ever since the first month of staying at the cité i had been trying to obtain the directors permission to create a performance with the men sleeping along the corridor. i had wanted to have real beds installed for one week, (permission refused even for one night and removed promptly in the morning) i had wanted to cook and serve a community supper in the corridor (permission refused) i had wanted to make a bed bread (permission refused) and then in the space of the gallery i had wanted to print a text (like the one printed on the handbill) on napkins and hand out cheese and wine (permission refused.) so, finally in frustration at what i considered to be a lack of generosity towards my artistic practice (after all they had accepted me to be a resident) i did the canadian thing and just did it…
although, like a typical canadian i created a lot of anxiety for myself about the “ethical” considerations of being a guest and betraying a code of hospitality, of appearing “ungrateful” and disregarding authority. but in the end my desire to open a space of communication, however unwanted, won out. naturally i had to make the work “site specific” and locate the work within the context of my experience at the cité internationale des arts.
so, voila…there you have it.