Alex Farrar and Harry Meadley

The results of a residency held at HMK { HotelMariaKapel }. Alex Farrar (one of the artists) explains me their project in an email.

As you know, the residency ‘Eyes on the Prize‘ at {HotelMariaKapel} was competition themed. Harry (Meadley) had challenged me to a duel some months and early attempts to commence the fight over the internet were a little stilted, so I suggested to Bas (the curator) that Harry and I use the residency to duel face to face.

We lifted the render room ¬†idea from HBO’s Community, in which a ‘dreamatorium’ is used by Troy and Abed to live out fantastical scenarios and for the program makers to take their creations anywhere and do anything (they in turn took the device from Star Trek’s ‘Holo-deck’). We thought it was a perfect device for situating the duel in and foresaw using the room to literally contain the exhibition of works in when they were travelling (hence the flight case design). What did surprise us, was that it actually succeeded as a highly productive and intense workspace which we really used (closed) in three extended sessions.

I’ll try to describe the duel itself. First of all, Harry and I know each others work better than anyone else, and the duel did really come out of a private (and never disclosed) offence which I caused. After a little research, we found that there was a ‘Code Duello’ which all duels must follow. These rules, which are printed alongside the work descriptions on the poster I sent you, provided us with a structure for the exchanges, with each detailing a character and purpose for the move, ranging from the apologetic to the apoplectic.

For the duel itself, we sat facing each other on simple folding chairs in the Render Room, shut the door and lit by an industrial mining light (also seen on the poster) called out an art work, or in some cases, progression of artworks in retaliation to each of our attempts to finish the fight and silence the opposition (as is the ultimate goal with every duel).

Out of the three sessions came 50 original works (25 each). In addition to making an exhibition poster, we are working on a publication which will go in to the stories, references and research that are contained within the works, which can be understandably quite private. Finally, we will stage the actual exhibition of works, ideally touring it across several venues in 2013.