Deborah Schamoni

Mauerkircherstr. 186

D-81925 München

Wednesday – Friday 12 – 6 pm

Saturday 12 – 4 pm and by appointment

Gerry BibbyI am a receptable for your extremities

Frieze London, GB

16.10. – 19.10.2013

  • […] Another chapter was his project for the annual Frieze Art Fair in London in 2013. The commission was welcomed by Bibby as Frieze London was familiar to him from annual stints working at the fair in the first years after he relocated to Europe from his native Australia in 2005. On one of these jobs, while digging holes in Regent’s Park, the location of the fair, he came across clusters of oyster shells. Bibby was told by the architect in charge that such a cache is common in the UK as oysters used to be considered affordable nutrition and made up large parts of the working class diet in the 19th century. Struck by this anecdote and by the oyster as an unlikely symbol of British class struggle, Bibby decided he would feed oysters to the workforce that builds the temporary art fair tent.

    read more

    The piece, I am a receptacle for your extremities (2013), saw Bibby, accompanied by a professional oyster shucker from a high-end London restaurant, walk around the under construction fair site handing out oysters to the workers. Afterwards he collected the shells and dipped them in a coloured latex mixture to keep them as a visible remnant of the performance. Relegated to the outside of the tent because of the smell, in the end the small heap of shells was only seen by those with an inquisitive eye looking from one of the windows onto the park. The oyster as the epitome of decadence gains significance here. Not just because of its curious role in British social history, but also as a metaphor of the artist as an institutional critic and faultfinder: planted like a grain of sand that is then smoothed over by the institutional process, the pearlmut around the intruder, the result is an aesthetic product ready for display and consumption. It is telling that the result of his piece was ultimately banned from the tent, deemed unsuitable to mingle with the luxurious dealings inside the fair. Now that the fair is over, the remnant shells will be set in cement and incorporated into fundaments for park benches.

    The only visible remnant of his project inside the fair proper was a cheap couch positioned in its midst, serving as a place to crash for weary visitors and the busy production assistant – a role Bibby took on during the fair itself. The couch was surrounded by equipment boxes that had been the containers of the oyster shells. A4 sheets with textual fragments partially migrated from earlier works were taped to the outside of the boxes.

    Text: Anna Gritz (Testing Ground, Frieze Features, 19.02.2014)

Gerry Bibby
I am a receptable for your extremities, 2013
Installation view and performance documentation
Frieze Art Fair, London, 2013