Stuart Sherman

Sherman may best be known for his solo Spectacle performances, which usually took the form of quick-paced interactions with everyday objects over a table top. He created and performed eighteen Spectacles in total, twelve of which he performed solo, and six with groups of collaborators. A prominent theme of the Spectacles was Sherman’s playful use of scale, either in the amplification of small gestures and details, or the miniaturization of theatrical spectacle. His stage was a small folding table; his props everyday items: a pen, a light bulb, eyeglasses, a roll of tape, toys. The performance consisted of him rapidly, usually soundlessly, always precisely arranging and rearranging the objects, putting one on top of another, taping some down, tossing some away, creating the equivalent of still lifes seen in a flipbook.

I find his work quirky and I am interested in the sense of rhythm and allegory that is created by the movement and activity on the table top. The table is the focal point of the work and has similarity to my recent video where the small old man plays with uncanny toys on a table. The table as the focal point can also be seen in some performances by  Paul McCarthy (below).  

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