Performance Box is a project for pluralizing the idea of curatorship. Designed for single audiences, it is actually a small cardboard gallery space in which the contents of four boxes can be shown in a desired manner. The audience enters an initial box which covers the body apart from the head. A second box which can revolve around the head is placed on top. Four shutters allow access to four smaller boxes that can be attached to and removed from the performance box.

For a curatorship at Mohsen Gallery, Tehran, 50 artists are chosen to submit works in small boxes on the subject of  a short-short story by Peter Handke (indicated below). Each artist is asked to curate a maximum of 15 minutes show by defining which boxes with which manner will be shown to an audience. The audience will choose among 50 different curatorships, thus making a visit to the gallery a rather personal experience. Any visit to the gallery shall be booked in advance. The show is advertised in the newspapers and boxes can be purchased by visitors. 10 percent of the money will go to the corresponding curator. All performers also submit a box.

Eyewitness Account

By Peter Handke

According to eyewitness account, it happened like this: a retarded boy, dragging feet on the ground and bouncing head as if hanging from his bulk comes out of the farm. Then, while mumbling unmeaning words, advances in the yard towards the cleaver used for chopping beets. At this point, the vacuous boy’s custodian comes out of a neigbouring house and teaches the crazy boy how to use the cleaver: he piles the beets next to the machine and raises, with one hand, the sharp blade of the cleaver and with the other hand brings forth a beet and finally chops the beet with its guillotine-like blade. Then the silly boy nods, then the custodian pushes the handle between the boy’s fingers and puts a beet, up to its leaves, under the blade, then the idiot boy raises the cleaver and in one move chops the leaves off the beet, then with his right hand grabs his custodian from his neck and cuts open his skull with one move, then lays the custodian down horizontally on the pile of beets and then the fingers, in a good position, let go the custodian’s neck who is throbbing, then thrusts the cleaver into the custodian’s neck with a little stroke of the left hand, then raises the cleaver again and strikes again and the custodian’s hands, in response to the stroke of the cleaver, jump up and the youngster raises the blade again and brings it down and the custodian’s hands jump up again and then the isolated youth, distressed and agitated, changes hands and strikes with his right hand, then the boy changes hands again and strikes with the left hand and according to the eyewitness account little by little his moves slow down, as seen in movies, changes hands, right hand, left hand, mumbling unmeaning words, chuckling and nodding unintentionally, pausing from time to time and rubbing his eyes, then strikes the custodian’s neck until he cuts his head off with great effort, after the corps’s numerous rolling and throbbing. At this point, when the eyewitness realizes that the idiot is mad to continue his strokes finally jumps over him, takes the cleaver and stops him angrily. (1965)

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