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 Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, North East biennale AV Festival, Newcastle, On Kawara, One Million Years
Turner Prize Hosts Request Volunteers For Artwork - ArtLyst Article image

Turner Prize Hosts Request Volunteers For Artwork

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Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead are hoping to secure as many as 600 members of the public for a performance of On Kawara's One Million Years

The recent host of the Turner Prize, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead is looking for as many as 600 volunteers to help the performance of On Kawara's One Million Years. Consisting of 20 volumes of typewritten dates, volunteers are needed for an hour and a half at a time to read aloud from each of the volumes over ten hours a day for the 60 days between March 1st and April 29th. Willing volunteers should email onemillionyears@avfestival.co.uk


The work is divided between Past and Future, with Past listing the years from 998,031 BC up to 1969 AD, and Future beginning with 1993 AD and ending with 1,000,992 AD. Kawara was born near Tokyo in 1933, and has always been preoccupied with dates. For example, rather than measuring his age in years as per normal, he opts instead for days i.e. he is now almost 29,000 days old. His Today Series of Date paintings comprises over several thousand works since 1966, with each one consisting of the date on which it was made, painted in white on a plain coloured or black background.


This particular work to be staged at the Baltic forms part of this year’s North East biennale AV Festival of art, technology, music and film, for which the theme is As Slow As Possible. The programme includes 22 exhibitions, with 34 film screenings, 15 concerts, six walks, and a 744 hour continuous on-line radio broadcast. Included in the programme will be Locus+ working with artist Jonathan Schipper to create a slow-motion car crash – with the car moving at 7 millimetres an hour over the 31 days – while the opening ceremony includes Leif Inge's 9 Beet Stretch – a live performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony stretched over 24 hours without pitch distortion - at Newcastles's Star and Shadow cinema.

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