Untitled Action on an Inclined Plane
Performance at VIVA! Art Action in Bain St. Michel, Montreal, Canada, 2013
The McGill Daily, Written by: Megan Lindy. Photos by Guy L'Heureux.
What was most striking about the show was the degree of spontaneity involved. Performance usually implies something rehearsed, pre-planned, and centred on the performer. Yet Viva! Art Action’s artists managed to integrate all the particulars into something impromptu and unique. Tomasz Szrama’s performance began by drawing the audience’s attention to the space itself. Walking into the pool with a bag of fruit, he dropped a single apple on the floor and watched it roll down the slope into the deep end. It was unclear at first whether this was intentional or not, but right after this apple landed at the bottom, he threw a few more fruit down to watch them roll. The apples, oranges, and grapefruit did while the bananas did not.
A series of fruit-related acts – including juicing a grapefruit with his head and squeezing oranges in his pant pockets – culminated in an outrageous feat. After having sawed off two legs of a table and hammering an apple to it, he asked audience members to hoist him up towards the ceiling by a rope-and-pulley system attached to his feet. With a level on the table and the apple in Szrama’s mouth, another audience member indicated how far Szrama was to be pulled upward until the table was perfectly flat. At 10 p.m., way past most of their bedtimes, even the youngest children were captivated by the strangeness and humour of Szrama’s work.