A Chess Match


One Day, Two delays- Kathryn Best – Peter Suchin, 6th October 2016.

If the images of one of the artists took some inspiration from Napoleon’s visual deposition of the Egyptian Expedition, this exhibition might have been inspired by the French Emperor’s quote:  ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’.

In fact, what the two artists and writers decided to set up was a show with challenging preconditions that brought unpredictable results. Best and Suchin both describe their selves as eclectic persons: being writer and art critic, architect and artist is not that obvious. That is why they took the unconventional decision of mixing and crossing the authors of texts and images, by acting as two chess players for a friendly competition.

The theme of delay, related to chess and strategy, refers also to interruption and diversion. This delay that causes some kind of confusion has been the starting point for interesting outcomes. The explosive interaction between the two artists and the mutual admiration made possible to create a mystical story of a perverse expedition around impressive Egyptian pictures, as well as shorter but more attractive texts with colorful paintings.
Unfortunately, the common obsession for writing interfered with the fluency of the visitor experience, with the text overlapping the images. There was too much information for a public who is not willing to seriously put on its spectacles for an art exhibition.

With a first look at the pictures before starting reading,  the Egypt presence pervading the room was strong  enough. Each one of these images could talk without saying any word. But after having approached the text, it was possible to discover an enjoyable surplus, a parallel story developing on the side. French philosopher Roland Barthes stated “The text you write must prove that it desires me”: perhaps this precise point hasn’t been deeply considered.

This idea of accompanying pictures with a story could probably have been solved in another way, a little pamphlet , or a recorded voice  to listen next to each image for example. There are infinite ways of reading a work of art.

International renowned artist Christo stated this Saturday, at the Miracle Marathon held at the Serpentine Pavilion, that the artistic work is based on two separate phases: the hardware and the software. The first one is the preparation, the hard work behind a project, while the second part is the final work and its interaction with the public, something mostly unpredictable. Although artists would like to have the power of controlling the public reaction, this is simply not possible.


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