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Conversation piece, 2012

For the exhibition Presence/Absence at Hotel Paravent, Berlin, Adrian Lee produced a performance entitled Conversation Piece. This work was ‘phoned in’ by Lee from London to the exhibition a number of times over the course of the evening, where an actor took the call and acted out the script.

In effect Lee performed in the exhibition: setting the tone, the timing and, of course, writing the words. The viewers overheard half the conversation and Lee was the unseen other half, imagined, both in person and in narrative, by the audience. There were a number of elements to this 50% eavesdropped text: a description of the audience itself, and an opinion of art. Finally there was the (unknown) action that the call receiver was being persuaded to make, against his better judgment, making a spectacle of him at the performance event itself.