The Space of the Work and the Place of the Object (Bringing the Sexy Back)

The third work in our 'Piggy-Backing' series was made in response to a show at Sculpture Center, New York.

The third of our Piggy-Backing projects was shown on the opening night of the Lisbon drawing show, 'a crise', for which we made 'Fogo d'Artificio Desenhar'. 'Fogo...' was intended to be its own document, but knowing the event was unique and out of habit, we set up a video camera to record it. The crate was placed in the car-park in a spot out of the way of the cars and the camera set up simply in front. When we got back to the studio afterwards and looked at the tape we were quite surprised. The composition of the image and the staging of the scene, though quite accidental, were overt. The horizontal line of the car park markings and the top of the fence sliced the frame neatly into thirds while the receding lines of the spaces gave perspective to the image and framed the crate right in the centre. The glow of the streetlights suggested a constructed studio set more than a real street, and the lamp on the right cast directly onto the packing crate below, highlighting the billowing smoke. Watching the tape as we rewound it back to the start, the action unfolded in reverse, the shift in speed suggesting a chorography in the movements. Plumes of smoke slowly gathered under the streetlamp at the top of the image, growing in density until they were sucked down into the crate with a flash of sparkling light. The film undulates between calm, static moments as smoke gathers then dissipates, and bustling activity as we navigate around the crate, appearing to catch the smoke in the box with each flash. The reversal of the footage appears to capture the firework ash, agent of the drawing, in the process of adhering to the crate - as if the business of our bustling around the crate is all in the service of reinstating the 'aura' to the work. Powered via a cable slung over the rooftops into our studio, the film was rear-projected on a life-size screen on top of the building next door, with a view of the car-park where it had been shot.