Konrad Wyrebek at Saatchi gallery London

Artist Konrad Wyrebek at Saatchi gallery London from konrad on Vimeo.
Konrad Wyrebek at Saatchi gallery London

"Communication: Live" was a five-minute site specific performance that temporarily multiplied the sculpture "Communication" by Chinese artist Cang Xin. It might also be seen as nine people starting a micro-revolution in the way that audiences connect with art. Whatever interpretation, Konrad Wyrebek's work blurred the lines between direct action and the passive gaze.
At 4pm on Sunday 21 December, Wyrebek led a group of eight performers into gallery six at The Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea. The group, dressed similarly to the male figure in "Communication", then took to the floor and lay stomach down, arms out-stretched, in poses that mirrored the original work by Cang Xin. The group viewed the work from the floor, at eye level with the original piece. As other gallery-goers entered the room they were unsure where "Communication" ended and "Communication: Live" began.
Polish born, London-based, artist Wyrebek was inspired to create "Communication: Live" on a previous visit to The Revolution Continues: New Art From China show at the gallery.
'The sculpture "Communication" seemed to be about action, but was also frozen and still,' says Wyrebek. 'The figure, with his tongue to the floor and arms in a crucifixion-like pose, reminded me of direct action protesters lying in front or tanks or soldiers. He appeared to be making a bold, active statement yet was also clearly a passive object.
'I lay down on the floor in the same pose as the figure in "Communication' because it seemed the best way to appreciate the piece. From the floor I experienced a far stronger connection with the work, but to do so also felt transgressive. In art galleries the audience is conditioned to stand and view each work and then move on. It is very clear what is art and what is audience, and what positions both are expected to take. With Communication Live I wanted to break down that barrier by inviting my friends and other gallery-goers to connect with the sculpture. It was a coordinated direct action that was almost as still, and frozen, as the original artwork. And I liked the way you might call it performance, but it was also just a bunch of friends looking at a sculpture, and everyone was free to join in.'