Tall, broad and otherwise authoritative? Then Brendan Fernandes wants YOU.

The Sculpture Center and visual artist Brendan Fernandes1 are in the process of putting together performers for a performance art piece named “The Closing Line” that will take place in February.2 And the best part is, if you are tall, broad, and otherwise possess an authoritative body, then you can (Chris Treager voice) literally be part of his art!

The SculptureCenter sent out this series of Tweets on Tuesday for the casting call:

As it says in the first Tweet, the entire piece, including rehearsals and performance, will be 5 hours at $25/hour. But what five hours are we talking about here? I spoke with Fernandes and he said that rehearsals will take place Thursday, Feb. 6 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The performance itself is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Sound good? Then send a resume and headshot to Brendan@brendanfernandes.ca.

For those of you who do not possess the requisite physical attributes of a Roman warrior or a Greek goddess (just to be clear, this isn’t the actual requirement: Fernandes is looking for people who have a good sense of their bodies and know how to move), or are among the lucky few that do, but just want to just be a spectator, here is the synopsis:

Inspired by the former closing procedure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where security guards used their bodies, rather than touch or speech, to signal to museum visitors to exit the galleries. The performance “Closing Line” will use this tactic to similarly usher visitors out of the Sculpture Center at a gallery event. The work will be the last performance piece in a daylong performance exhibition.

Fernandes was also kind enough to share his vision with me over email:

I recall being at the Metropolitan Museum a number of years ago, where minutes before close the guards began to posture and use their bodies to push out museum visitors without touch or speech. As the galleries emptied and the space deemed secure, the guards gathered on the main staircase of the museum and slowly formed a human chain.  They walked together down the stairs further pushing people out of the space and stood at the door where one guard announced, “ the museum is closed.”

I am curious about the political ramifications this gesture suggests, where  bodies direct, control and move other bodies without physical force or verbal direction.  In this work I am interested in borders, accessibility and the use of the physical body as a device to create a barrier. It references sociopolitical events, such as protest and gatherings of critical mass, where bodies are controlled and limited by a hierarchy system.

My performance for Sculpture Centre is to create a line of performers, dressed in white uniforms that will slowly push visitors out of the gallery space as the event comes to a close.  The work will begin with the performers posturing from the rooftop balcony space of SC. Slowly the performers will come down the stairs to the main space to form a human chain against one of the main walls in the museum where they will rest in silence. Then they will simultaneously move forward in a sequenced, choreographed line every ten minutes that makes the exhibition space smaller and less accessible to viewers inside. The space behind them will be left empty and the space in front of them will become smaller and more crowded as the event closes.  An ambient musical score will complement the piece, and will signal the performers when to proceed forward with a sonic cue. The piece concludes with everyone being pushed out of the space.

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