Any time between 3pm and 6pm. That was the deal. Any time within a window. And with freedom to explore. Come and go, as you please. The doors will be left open. Take photos, should you choose. Inhabit the space as you would a public area. Like a park, say. Be a living part of an assemblage. Move within the space. Walk through to the library. Squat beneath the window, recline on the slope, lean against the wall, perch on the ledge just inside the door: it’s up to you. Come, stay, and go, as you please, the invitation stood.
When only recently I thought how I would like to have experienced Ashley Dyer’s Tremor (at Arts House) as a durational piece, with the chance to select my own vantage, here was my chance to experience a new work by Dancehouse artist-in-residence, Matthew Day. Assemblage #1 was my chance to encounter dance as I do art, to treat the performance as I would a painting, installation, sculpture, readymade, or a Fluxus box of matches.1 And yet rather unsurprisingly, I conformed to theatre standards.
I arrived just before 3pm. I arrived for the start of a work with no real start. And I was not alone. In the foyer on a quiet Saturday afternoon, a small knot of people waited for the dance to begin. As I collected my tickets from the box office/bar, Day was at the sink getting a glass of water. Upon seeing the waiting spectators, I wondered if he was disappointed by our collective missed opportunity to enter a theatre-cum-gallery and wonder: what did I miss? What happened before? Has the dancer been here all day? Will the dancer leave? Is this art? Is this dance? Is there a difference? And does it matter?