Last Orders (negotiating the loan of the last orders bells from a number of public houses and replacing each one with a diatonic handbell, of a different musical note)
Last Orders is a multi-site live work and accompanying installation, originally created for A Circle, a group exhibition in Plymouth. I have remade this work in Bristol in March 2012 - please see more recent posts for info.
I negotiated the loan of the ‘last orders’ bells from a four public houses for the period of the exhibition, replacing them with a musical hand bell, each of a different note.
Every night, when the bells are rung to mark ‘last orders’ and then ‘time’, a composition will be heard, its constituent notes sounding individually at sites spread across the city, so that the performance can never be physically heard or experienced in its entirety. The act of performance is delegated to the Barman/maid and the pub’s customers unwittingly become the audience.
In this work, the pub is imagined as a place which accepts and encourages bohemia, historically a unique social space for the birth of ideas, creative relationships, and peer learning amongst artists. Last Orders re positions the pub as a site not just for the inception of, but also presentation of art.
By creating a series of aleatoric performances, the piece explores the possibility of a multi-sited aural performance, shifting the purpose of the bell and exploring its resonance both metaphorically and literally.