Join us for the first draft of a newly commissioned work by Paul Becker which will continue to explore themes within the ‘Space Release’ programme at the Stephenson Works building throughout 2013. Becker’s project follows a series of exhibitions, screenings and events surrounding Emma Hart’s ‘TO DO’ and introduces itself preceding Ruben Grilo’s ‘The Need For Speed’.
The first edition of FLOOR/CEILING/WINDOW/WALL will take the form of a performed reading on the factory floor of The Stephenson Works. The work will continue through a series of adaptations, each a revision by Becker for a different situation, evolving through his authorial process.
Here I am. I cast off from the fire door eyes fully focused on a floor I convince myself is painted with grey paint but is in fact a wooden floor covered in a thick slate-like linoleum. I stare closer and realise my mistake. He is utterly mistaken.
In this scene the protagonist makes his way across the floor of a large empty space. The floor is studied carefully and slowly, studied in great detail. He does not rush in this important matter. He applies himself to his study almost forensically and yet time passes in its usual way. To partly give away the ending, the protagonist eventually ends up with his nose in a corner…
There she is. She inspects the white wall, scales it to twice her own height suspended by several deep screws. She has some experience of this wall already. Pauses anyway to descend and begins to peel back layers of paint. Ten, twenty layers. More.
In this scene the protagonist makes her way up the wall of a large empty space, a space that presumably, is no longer in use but which may well have been part of a traditional museum or gallery space at one time. To partly give away the ending, eventually she crawls up the inside of the wall and across and into the ceiling…
So here am I again, up at our old friend the window. Hardly a decent view. It never was, even before those ungainly new flats. That awful hoarding, which as you can all see, is unconscionable. A discerning eye will notice too that the window’s construction has been run up on the cheap, the cheapest possible.
In this scene a nameless and genderless and yet utterly nondescript protagonist describes the view from an upstairs window. The protagonist maintains a preoccupation with posteriors, metropolitan drinking cultures, as well as a desultory interest in the existences of birds. This scene is really about defenestration…
Paul Becker is a Newcastle-based artist and writer. Recent projects include The Cat, Carpeted (with FormContent), at Le Salon, Brussels, Auto Italia Live Double Dip Concession at ICA, London, Sincerely, how am I talking? at Hollybush Gardens, London and Festival Robert Walser in Newcastle (all 2012).
Along with Francesco Pedraglio and Alex Cecchetti, Becker is currently editing Cadavere Quotidiano, a selection of texts by contemporary artists and writers (including Becky Beasley, Katrina Palmer, Ed Atkins and Michael Dean) to be published early in 2013.