'Time Tables': ‘Time Tables’, Install-action with six tables

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‘Time Tables’, Install-action with six tables, as part of ‘Somatic Distortion’ Event, The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. 5th. October, 2019. Curated by Sandra Corrigan Breathnach. This Performance Art Event “included live performance from Irish & International Performance Artists and video works from internationally acclaimed Artists”.(Extract from Festival Brochure)My durational Performance Artwork within this event was initially developed through reflection on various past performance works i.e. ‘Walls & Fences’ & ‘History Lesson’ - (2016), ‘Water Table’ – (2017 & 2018). As I approached the event in the Leitrim Sculpture Centre I was growing greatly frustrated by international events such as Brexit, Climate Change & Environmental Collapse, the increase of the ‘right wing’ in a substantial portion of Europe and other nations and over and above my realisation that the ‘capitalist economic structure’ has failed the human race and the urgent need for another more human model. This, aligned to my own recent ill health, provoked me into making a rather pointed series of related responses within the ‘Times Tables’ performance work.I started to consider six identical tables as potential metaphors for specific socio -economic issues or concerns, and as distinct ‘tableaus’. The six tables were set out in the gallery space in advance. I worked at each table in turn. At the first table I focused on the Global Economic Collapse in 2008 and the clear failure of the Banking System due to systematic greed and corruption. At the next table I focused on the growth of nationalism and particularly Brexit. At the next an aspect of nationalism was further articulated in relation to emigration and the building of walls and borders. At the next two tables I focused on the destructive aspects of capitalism within agriculture and in relation to climate change. At the last table I reflected on globalised warfare and cultural strife as a tool of Capitalism or global economics.I produced a clean white sheet at the start of the performance. This was ripped up at the first table, leaving a small section covering that table. The larger portion of sheet was moved to the next table and a portion then ripped again. At each table more of the sheet was ripped up and portions left at each table one by one.Table 1:At the first table I set up a music stand on which I placed an image of businesspersons in a boat all apparently lost at sea. On the table I spread a white sheet and placed an accordion, moneybox, knife, fork & plate. I played the old Accordion, from which previously secreted international monetary notes fell. These were collected and some were eaten. I went round the audience with the large ‘Euro’ Money Box to collect money. This was then crushed under foot, and then levered open and the coins removed. These were then clamped at the top of a tall modular structure constructed from a series of G-Clamps, all clamped one above the other on the table.Table 2:On table two I opened out a contemporary map of Europe. A deep blue velvet covered box, with added gold stars, was opened to reveal flags of the world. The European Flags were sourced and glued onto the Map. The UK, (including Northern Ireland), was partially cut out of the map. The map was then placed over my head and worn like a cloak, (with the UK providing the hole through which my head protruded.) I then stood in the corner of the space for a while, whilst wearing the map, with my back to the audience. I then took off the map, upturned the table and proceeded to make a concrete cast in the underside of the table. A UK flag was stuck into the concrete cast. The map was then placed on the upturned legs of the table and held in place by four stone blocks.Table 3:At table three I created a series of cellular spaces with images of walls, borders and fences. Before starting to create these ‘cells’ I put on a pair of glasses with their lenses replaced by two toilet-roll cardboard cores. These glasses had the effect of limiting and narrowing my vision. I also brought the music stand from table one to table three. I replaced the original image on the stand with one of a refugee filled boat. Differing images of walls or fences, from across the world, had been printed on a series of A4 pages. The same image was printed on both sides of each page. Each wall image was cut out and added to the growing cellular structure of walls, fences and borders. I worked at this structure for about twenty minutes. Later I installed a chemistry stand & clamp, which held a plastic funnel, above the walls and fences structure. I proceeded to sieve a body of dry sand through a sieve and the funnel to fill one of the ‘cells’. The first sieved and finer sand material was then sieved again but using a finer meshed sieve, filling another cell and then again using yet another finer mesh into another cell. This was done until only fine dust remained. This again was funnelled into yet another cell.Table 4:I set a small potted ash tree on the table. This was about 60cm. tall. I proceeded to add wooden skewers to the tree’s structure, starting with the tree trunk and proceeding up the branches. Each skewer was attached with ‘cable ties’. Over time the tree became covered in these skewers and cable-ties. Eventually the tree became rigid and encased. At that point I inverted the tree on the table and left it standing upside down. I moved to the next table. (The inverted tree stood for some minutes, but eventually collapsed under the weight of the soil in the pot.) Table 5:First I placed a circular silver tray with a silver ball on top of the table. Then a silver bowl of water was set under the table. I slung a ‘plumb-line’ under the table to hang above the water. I placed a series of upright barley stalks around the silver tray, one by one, by using clothes pegs as impromptu stands. This created a delicate and somewhat visually interconnected structure. I then added international bank notes to a range of these barley stalks with pegs or super glue. Finally I clamped a length of wood to one of the table legs, so as the table was tilted and precarious. This tilting and clamping operation moved the plumb line off centre and the silver ball rolled round the rim of the silver tray.Table 6:Under table six I placed a series of inverted plastic funnels, set together to form a sort of geometric pattern. A globe was then placed on the table and switched on so as to illuminate the world map. I then placed little cartoon images of explosions into holes in the globe. (Each explosion was glued onto a cocktail stick in advance of the performance). These explosions were placed at locations where civil strife currently exists. Once completed I lifted the accordion and left the space.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Oct 2019


  • Install-action
  • Durational Performance
  • Performance with six tables
  • International Performance Art
  • Irish Performance Artists
  • Leitrim Sculpture Centre
  • Somatic Distortion Event
  • Political Performance Art
  • Performance Artwork dealing with political issues
  • Bret issue in Performance Art
  • Contemporary Political Issues within Performance Art
  • Walls & Borders
  • Refugees
  • Economic collapse
  • response to rising nationalism


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