A scene with human furniture printed page A scene with human furniture A scene with human furniture A scene with human furniture A scene with human furniture

A Scene with human furniture

A scene takes place between ‘you’ and ‘I’ and ‘we’. ‘I’ is the PAGE activated as ‘we’ read together silently while at the same time ‘we’ listen to ‘you’, the recorded VOICE.

A Scene with human furniture consists of: printed PAGE, audio recorded VOICE and audience performers, BODY. Audience members are instructed to read PAGE silently as they listen to VOICE.

VOICE is sometimes non verbal (whining, panting) and often emotive (laughing, shouting). VOICE is disobedient and veers off script. The complex gestures of the audience (reading, listening, holding PAGE, remaining silent and seated, shifting uneasily) enact the narrative: the ‘I’ of PAGE and ‘you’ of VOICE come together to the ‘we’ of BODY i.e. the audience.

‘We’ (the audience) are instruments for the script and active performers simultaneously. The body is human furniture, sheet holders. PAGE and VOICE synchronise and instruct the audience to ‘stand up!’ The planted performers, BODY, obey: stand, kneel down and place our left cheek on the floor. Human furniture ends with our arse in the air.

A Scene with human furniture was commissioned by artist Chris Timms with PEER and ACME for the listening event Stucco Echoes Mouth: A Trembling of the Frame London, 18 October 2018. The work was also included in the conference Gestures: Writing That Moves Between at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 15 and 16 February 2019.