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Escapement

Enya Fortuna and Blair Coron

Curated by Skaiste Klaniute

 

The live performance portrayed a phantasmagorical depiction of labour. The title refers to the 13th century invention of the Escapement, an early form of minimal clockwork consisting of a coiled spring and pendulum that oscillated at a steady pace. During the industrial revolution the spread of compact portable clocks, as watches, played a key part in shaping modern society. The clock was used to synchronise labour and quantify productivity.

The world is constructed of symbiotic systems, not unlike a machine, that invigorates itself through a constant regeneration and production of new parts which shape the life around us. It serves as a metaphor for the proletariat who consciously submit to the lure of the machine in aims of operating on it from the inside, whilst knowing its pervasive and omnipresent power of supremacy. The incessant susurrus of the machine is present in the eye of the spy of surveillance, the heaving mounds of self-assessment sheets, the uncertainty of contracts and probations which admittedly incurs a precarious existence. Under a watchful eye we have been conditioned to change ourselves than the society we are part of.  It underlines the growing uncertainty and anxiety of material and life condition in where we embrace the products of the machine and find escapism in the dislocating experiences of simulated realities.

The mechanical clock serves as a signifier to a ‘timeless order behind the temporary appearance of things’. The stage is set as if time has been suspended. In this segment of time the exalt dictates the pace of the workers labour, in which it is undermined by the onlookers/visitors/audience. The performers become trapped in an orchestrated cyclical process of production that follows the rules of time, work and discipline that is an integral part of contemporary society.