Paul Gazzola’s installation spin solo/spin in Gallery 1 entertains in the tradition of an ancient wind-up tin toy. Dressed in an Elvis suit and standing on a wooden disk that spins by means of a rope and motor. Gazzola’s dinky apparatus is as charming as his casual banter with the audience. Fielding questions about the work, Gazzola offers us a turn on his machine and then projects his own image into the space he had occupied while he has a rest (spin double). This DIY entertainment in an arcade style set-up has the kind of magic that only simple, comprehensible technology can. Erin Brannigan, REALTIME Dec 02
Devised in 2002 it was the first work in the ongoing series – Situations Series. These works have an initial two-fold point of research. First in the function of the performing body as the central element in installation based works and secondly in exploring the role and ‘performative’ aspect of the public when viewing gallery art. Originally proposed as a scenography for a larger performance spin solo /spin double looks to combine ideas of living gods on earth and the rejuvenating/transformational aspect of spinning associated with the spiritual ritualism of Sufism. Duration: 1 – 6 hours
Description – A figure dressed in a white suit, not dissimilar to that which is characteristic of Elvis is seen standing on a rotating platform in a dimly lit room. The platform is powered by a small electric motor and connected by a single pulley. Quietly rotating anti clockwise, the figure remains silent and open to the publics gaze as it turns on the spot. After a period of 7 minutes a video projection of the same image (of equal dimension) appears into view on the wall directly behind the live figure. This overlaying effectively replaces the live body and inturn becomes its cue to step off the platform and take a seat amongst the public. We now see the image of the recorded figure rotating as the ‘original’ sits down and waits. Another period of 7 minutes transpires until the projected image walks off the screen, which is the sign for the live figure to walk back onto the platform. This interchange and act of replacing between the live and pre-recorded image becomes the basis of this durational work. Within this set-up, the live figure intermittently asks if the public are interested to ask any questions. Initially stating, “You can ask me questions if you like”. This act to disarm the quiet of the room and broach a possibility to discourse generates a window for the public to inquire about the works intentions, as the live figure is highly forthcoming to answer any questions asked. Inevitably someone from the public asks to take a turn on the platform, creating a situation where they become the displayed object and inturn are projected upon by the video image.
This inversion of public as performer and performance, the layering of images through acts of replacement and the friendly discourse encouraged, in combination with the iconic and mythological status of the Elvis character, all aim to set up a more social setting for the presentation of spin solo/spin double and the destabilization of the silence and reverence inscribed in its initial reading. Encouraging the production of other modalities of transmission and exchange with the public space.
2009 Sara Asperger Gallery, Berlin
2007 Theatre fur alle, Bremen
2005 The Magic of Real Life in Real Situations, CCA, Glasgow
2004 Tanz in August, Berlin
2003 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts
2002 Antistatic 2002, Performance Space, Sydney
Developed in part with the assistance of participating artists and facilitators at the 2002 Time_Space_Place 1 forum. An initiative of the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council, PICA, Perth and the Performance Space, Sydney