Waiting for something (bad) to happen

Images of the waiting room: © WILI Media Makers / Casino Luxembourg

‘Waiting for something (bad) to happen’ took place at Casino Luxembourg during ‘The changing of the guard’, a research laboratory investigating the notion of security in the city of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is a city that has a reputation for storing and managing the promise of money. A significant number of people are occupied with interest rates, investment opportunities, safeguarding financial assets and the art of trading in something of questionable and combustible value that may or may not exist.

A live exhibition(ist)

You gave somebody your money and now it’s gone.

Visitors to a gallery in Luxembourg are invited to take a seat in a temporary waiting room and wait for something (bad) to happen. One after another they enter the main gallery space for a private audience with a resident illusionist. The illusionist stands in an empty glass-faced gallery space, accompanied by a security guard sitting to one side. The illusionist asks the visitor if they would like to to give him some money for a trick. If they comply he ‚disappears’ this money. A sleight of hand and the money is gone. The visitor is then led out of the gallery space and confronted with the realisation that their money will not reappear. They are provided with an email address if they feel obliged to make a complaint.

‘Waiting for something (bad) to happen’ explores the material and immaterial characteristics of money as an abstract concept, the illusion or fragility of financial security and the trust we place in an individual, a system or an exchange.

We have become adept at playing tricks with the concept of money. The trick that is played out in the gallery refers to a system that allows money to be hidden or ‘relocated’ (and some would argue taken) and current political negotiations that threaten to undermine the wealth that has been accumulated as a result of this. Placed within a gallery context ‘Waiting for something (bad) to happen’ might also provoke an audience to consider the funding, value and temporary nature of conceptual live-art.

‘Waiting for something (bad) to happen’ was presented in collaboration with illusionists Christian, Benito and David. A publication documenting and reflecting on our work in Luxembourg can be bought at Casino Luxembourg or previewed online.

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Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley work internationally as interventionists and performance researchers specialising in site-specific and site-responsive art, alternative strategies for audience interaction and new forms of artistic collaboration.

The artistic process usually begins with a given site, and a process of observation and dialogue that analyses, and eventually responds, to the architectural, socio-political, geographical, mythological, connotative and historical narratives that can be found there.

Projects are quietly subversive, playfully readjusting the narrative and appreciation of a particular activity or a given site. The working process often involves those that live in an area, and aims to be accessible and relevant.

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