Accidental Performance


Performance, presented with video and objects: HD video, sound, 13'55'' (loop); gasoline powered mower STIHL, fuel tube, hand gloves, safety glasses, grass turf; dimensions 170х150х80 cm.

The idea of the project is to present a performance as seen through somebody else's eyes – the recollections of the only people to have seen it. There was an action that was performed by the artist in a different form, in private context, without either publicity or the intention of an artistic action. This action however, was subsequently reevaluated and is represented as a performance. The audience will have to trust the eyewitnesses and their interpretation, to accept those as actual facts.

The action was the mowing of the grass lawn of the house of Luchezar Boyadjiev in the village of Mlechevo. Motivated by the circumstances, by the inaction at a time of vacation and above all, by the machine – a gasoline powered mower, I mowed the grass in the whole yard, which is app. 20 acres. This happened at the beginning of May 2009 when Lucho invited us for a visit over the weekend. After the mowing I joked with him that this might as well be considered the performance that I had to do for an upcoming show, though nobody except for the people present had seen it.

A few weeks later I brought back together to the same place all the "witnesses". I asked them to tell in front of the camera about what they had seen at that time in the past. The goal was to use their communicating the facts as a structure for my documentation. I took footage in which the participants were Lucho, his mother, his son Gogo and Gogo's girlfriend Didi, Mariela as well as Yassen, Lucho's brother who did not actually see the act of mowing but he was told about it over the phone. I was mostly interested in the gaze of the others; the fact that I was nowhere present while other people were telling the audience what and how it was that I had done. Basically I do rely on the substance of their interpretation as well as on the way in which all of this is represented – the visual documentation.

The performance is presented in the exhibition through a documentary HD video subtitled in English. Apart from the video, the installation consists of the very lawn mower exhibited, grass turf as well as a few accessories – the fuel tube, hand gloves and safety glasses. Equipment: 26' or 32' plasma or LCD monitor, media player, stereo headphones. The video is played as QuickTime (.mov) file, HD 1920x1080. The monitor is fixed on the wall. The mower, the accessories and the grass are placed around it on the floor.

Installation view, Тechniques, ICA Gallery, August – September 2009


Installation views

Video Stills