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Hassan Khan: Decoy

Decoy, 2008

On November 3rd 2007 Nav Haq sent me an email asking if I was interested in intervening in the closing dinner of the Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie forum to be held at the Teatergrillen restaurant in Stockholm. The dinner was to be held for the artists, curators and art administrators involved in the exhibition and the forum, but was open to the public for the sum of 500 SEK. The dinner was announced as an opportunity to both ?witness an exclusive display of new work by Hassan Khan? and ?to meet the artists, and carouse with curators.?

Installed in the restaurant was a sculpture made out of sheets of compressed wood cut to the same exact measurements of one of the four middle tables in the restaurant and stacked on top of each other. The sculpture replaced the second table to the left from the entrance and was assumed to be the Hassan Khan piece mentioned in the invitation. The wooden construction is a minimal sculpture an architectural intervention and quite literally the decoy of the title.

An open call for four actors (2 male and 2 female) was sent out in Stockholm. I auditioned the actors and began working with them through a process of improvisation focused on the interactions of the dinner situation in an art world context. We aimed at developing characters through a series of dialogues, narratives, gestures, and actions. A loose general choreography was designed for the four actors- they were to attend the dinner as anonymous guests and to perform their invisible performance over the span of the event. Their intervention is to focus on the invisible mechanisms and themes of such dinners; everything from embarrassment and personal confessions to flirtation and networking. Near the end of the dinner the intervention is made clear to the guests through a series of toasts. The actors then step out of their tables and climb on top of the wooden platform turn around one complete circle and then step down as their normal selves.