Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Nola Diamantopoulos' Quest performance at Sydney Contemporary

Director's Choice is a curated performance program selected by Fair Director, Barry Keldoulis, that was showcased at Sydney Contemporary 13.

Interested members of the public were invited to participate in a short written conversation of questions with the artist, where no talking was permitted. Participants began by writing a question on a piece of paper. In response, the artist, nola, reflected on the question before replying with another question of her own.

The challenging format of this performance belies the answer driven society in which live today. By deliberately focusing on the question rather than the answer, the performance forces participants to stop, pause and reflect – a process which in many instances leads individuals to the realization that the initial question with which they began, is not in fact, the real question which lies at the heart of the matter after all.

As a performance, Quest is essentially an interactive and collaborative social project or experiment focused on community involvement and engagement. Drawing on the ideas behind relational aesthetics, the outcome of Nola’s performance is the creation of a social environment which brings people together to participate in a shared activity (or quest). The artwork is not about an encounter between the viewer and a static art object, but is instead an encounter between the artist and audience.

Subverting the commonly held concept that the stories or answers behind an artwork can be found within the work itself, the focus here is fixated on the performance and the participant. Rather than claiming to hold all the answers, the artist concentrates instead on the idea that the answers to all of our questions lie within ourselves. We are the source of our own answers.

Marked by its open-endedness, the performance becomes about providing participants with new ways of thinking, and in particular, a new way of viewing the questions that arise in our life. In this sense, through the exchange of information, the artist gives the audience access to powerful tools which provide them with the means by which to change their world.

To see more photos from Nola's performance, click here.

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