passage by Otiose

Monday / Sep 13 / 99
8:00 am - 8:00 pm

The Space
201-489 Dupont Street, Toronto

passage ''n. passing, transit; crossing, being conveyed, from port to port; corridor; (pl.) what passes between two persons; part of speech or literary work.'' Upon arrival in Toronto, the two members of otiose will go to separate locations, unknown to the other. The following 5 days will be a solitary process of speaking, searching & witnessing; for each other. This will culminate in a 12 hour public dialogue between 'otiose'.


Bring two artists who usually work together to the same city a continent away from home. Split them up and set them loose in different parts of the city. After five days, bring them back together with 24 tape recorders for 12 hours to hear what they have to say to each other. The result is Passage, the latest performance in FADO's 12-month duration performance art series, TIME TIME TIME.

Ailith Roberts and John Dummett, known collectively as "otiose", are rising stars on the British art scene. Their intriguing investigations into the acts of archiving, documenting, and witnessing combine a strong conceptual bent with a penchant for obsessive, repetitive physical activities. Based in Leeds, England, the duo have been working together for the past three years, presenting actions and installation works that invite us to reconsider our relationship to the world while calling into question the nature of public space.

Past performance activities by otiose include what may well be the quintessential British performance – 3 days of repeatedly making single cups of tea. This piece was part of otiose's Showhouse series, which also featured an 8-hour performance spent arranging 6 ornaments on a mantelpiece, and an in situ exhibition of 10,000 Polaroids of an empty house. Whether fingerprint dusting the floors and walls of a public gallery to reveal traces of past activity, or spending hours browsing in a supermarket to see how long it will take to be noticed and asked to leave, their works point out the uneasy links between inhabited space and human behaviour.

Presented with travel support from the British Council.



+ PHOTO GALLERY: passage