A contemporary performance art piece by Eva and Franco Mattes (a.k.a. 0100101110101101.ORG) via MTAA.
sur•ro•gate transitive verb: to put in the place of another: to appoint as successor, deputy, or substitute for oneself
On Friday April 11, 2008 as part of its monthly curatorial project, art collective MTAA premiered “The Surrogates,” a performance art piece exploring the nature of perceived identity and representation, credited to European-based art collective 0100101110101101.ORG (in absentia).
Presented at MTAA’s OTO art space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the two-hour piece began at 7 p.m. with an open bar and velvet rope welcoming attendees in the hallway.
Inside the OTO space proper, two rows of two chairs (numbered 1-4) faced a low stage featuring a 4′x6′ projection screen (center) and a small television monitor (stage right). Attendees entered the darkened room four at a time, their assigned seats facing a slightly delayed projection of themselves. The monitor revealed hallway activity in real time.
The attendees (now participants) were given no explanation of the piece, though they were invited do as they pleased within the space and to leave at their leisure. Re-entry was not permitted however, and those exiting the piece were immediately replaced by those next behind the velvet rope.
“The Surrogates” reaches its 180-degree apex via this text. Please note that while the Mattes (0100101110101101.ORG.) are credited as the authors of this seminal performance, MTAA designed, built and executed this work in its entirety.
The Mattes graciously agreed to lend their identity to “The Surrogates,” and for their essential contribution, receive 50 percent authorship and financial stake in “The Surrogates.”
update: more photos from “The Surrogates” performance in OTO Flickr set