VA17: The Contract MARGATE

Turner Contemporary June  2017

On Saturday June 17th The Contract arrived at Turner Contemporary, Margate, with a day of pop-up projects including video, performances, music, interventions, games and encountersby artists including Denise Ackerl, Nicola Dale, Tony Heaton, Young In Hong, Laura Malacart, Monica Ross, Alia Sayed, Holly Slingsby and Harald Smykla.

The art critic and writer Sacha Craddock lead a series of ‘one to one talks’ and interviews throughout the 4-hour marathon of non-stop events, broadcast live on Periscope and Facebook Live.


VA17 Performances


Young In Hong: Echoes

Echoes is a relay of one person’s protest, realised through individual performances testifying to the idea of equality through individually different ways of expression. Accompanying an original soundtrack by Young In Hong (which is audible only to the performer), each participant improvises a live response.


Nicola Dale: Model for Ideology

Model for Ideology is a durational solo performance. Five sticks prop the artist up under her chin, armpits, thigh and foot. She will remain temporarily stuck in this uncomfortable but self-imposed arrangement through the afternoon, in different locations such as the exhibition galleries and the foyer.


Tony Heaton: The Barriers

Access is an issue for many disabled people largely due to prejudice, fear and discrimination. The Barriers, first shown in 2016 during the Venice Architecture Biennale, is a work that explores how physical barriers are not always obvious. Kind support of Tensator.


Denise Ackerl: Occupy Margate 

Occupy Margate is a participatory performance where the public are invited to take part in a protest choreography workshop developed from the Occupy Wall street movement.                                                                                                                                                                               


Laura Malacart: The Little Book of Answers presents:  A Very British Pictionary Game

The Pictionary Game of The Little Book of Answers is a participatory game for two teams based on answers to the British Citizenship test. Can you draw the answer? Can you guess what’s been drawn? It’s easy! It’s about life in the UK.


Alia Syed: On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wing and a Prayer is a film inspired by the story of Abdul Rahman Haroun who walked through the channel tunnel on 17th August 2015. Mr. Haroun was held at Elmley prison on remand for 5 months but was charged under The Malicious damages act of 1861 for illegal entry into the UK.


Holly Slingsby: Covenant of Salt

Covenant of Salt is a new participatory performance by Holly Slingsby. The work draws from the ancient idea of covenant, in particular, the notion of covenants between god and humankind. Many of these can be found in the bible – spoken agreements which are sealed with sacred meals. 


Harald Smykla: Flower Face Value

During a durational participatory performance where the artist ‘floralises’ £5 bank notes with a flower over the washable note, members of the public are invited to purchase the personalised banknote by the artist. On purchase, a contract is engraved into the margins, which the buyer signs in pencil, providing the option of erasure. The aesthetic art object, its sales contract and the means of payment are merged into one single item.

SACHA CRADDOCK in conversation with…

Monica Ross: Act Of Memory

Audiences were invited to participate in the recitation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of Monica Ross’ work Act of Memory.

There are 30 Articles in the Declaration. Participants chose one (or more) article, in a language of their choice, and memorised it. The memorisation didn't have to be word perfect. The emphasis of the recitation is on the attempt, and the difficulty, of being able to meet the Declaration's call to constantly "keep it in mind" and the challenge of being able to voice or act on it especially when under pressure. The matter of 'no rehearsal' is very important.

Copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in over 370 languages is here: