Kaldor Public Art Project 27, '13 Rooms'

· Tuesday April 9, 2013

A door. You might not think it'd be something that makes a huge difference to your experience of an artwork, but they are a major thing in 13 Rooms, the 27th Kaldor Public Art Project. Usually with an exhibition, once you go in the front, that's it. There might be a corner to go around or a corridor to go down, but basically when you are in you're in. But in 13 Rooms the artworks all occupy their own space which the viewer has to actively engage with in order to see what's going on.

And it is worth it, because what is going on in each room is another thing that is fascinating and unusual about this exhibition: each work is 'living sculpture'. And what living sculpture is, essentially, is an endlessly repeatable performance that has been devised by an artist and is undertaken by someone interpreting it. The idea is that the artist creates the concept, which can then be actualised by different performers while still being the same work, so it can be staged over and over again through time. Living people are doing it; sculpture because it has the body as the material that realises the concept, which is the work.

13 rooms, 13 artists, 13 artworks, more than a hundred performers. There are a lot of ideas happening and different vibes going on. What holds them all together is that all of these works are, in one way or another, or several others, about being a person. A person with a body which exists in space, and a person who interacts intersubjectively with other people who also have bodies.

Oh and there are some major-level super-impressive people involved (hello John Baldessari, Marina Abramović and Damien Hirst), by the way. Seriously go look at the full list of names, we are talking eminent and renowned in a serious way. It is so great that this is happening in Sydney.