Rolling up my sleeves, 2012-2017, 3-6 min
This work looks at etiquette, cultural signifiers and identity. The artist uses the action of rolling up his sleeves as a social signal. While doing so, he looks at the idea of how far you should roll up your sleeves, talking through the dos and don’ts and the social revelations of rolling up one’s sleeves. He then tosses all the etiquette aside to cut through his jumper with scissors, rolling up his entire jumper into two doughnuts. Over the years this work had developed through re-performing the piece several times in different venues.
Turning a blind eye, 2014, 6 minutes
In this performance the artist spins table-tennis balls into the audience while shouting out current and ever-present issues, spanning from morality to mortality, economy to ecology. The table tennis balls are painted with grey dots symbolising eyes, reminding us of the issues we choose to ignore or turn a blind eye to.
Duchamp’s Plaster of Paris, 2011-2017, 3-6 minutes
After giving a talk and performing in Antwerp in 2011, Sherry met an art collector who collects dead artists’ effects, clothes and other items. The collector invited him to his home the next day, where he noticed a jar of plaster with Duchamp’s name on it. Sherry asked what it was and the collector answered that it was from Duchamp's estate. Sherry couldn’t believe it and said: ’Wow that would be brilliant to use in a performance’ and so he gave him some of Duchamp's ‘Plaster of Paris’ in a jar.
For this performance, the artist throws some of this ‘Plaster of Paris’ onto the audiences like an art blessing.
Red Sauce Brown Sauce Mania, 2014, 6 minutes
In this performance the artist pours red sauce onto his face while planning hypothetical meetings and brown sauce while subsequently cancelling them. The performance reminds us of the familiar tendency of arranging and rearranging meetings which we then cancel and cancel again, noting that this process can become a source of mania. The artist questions this human trait of making and breaking social ties, making reference to the 'Hedgehog's Dilemma' which describes our need to be with each other while wanting to be alone at the same time.
Thursday 8 November
Friday 9 November
About the Performer
Common acts of social interaction and the resulting omnipresent etiquette are central themes in David Sherry’s work. In his performances Sherry provides an insight into the cultural codes and learned behaviours revealed in conversations, radio programs, newspaper articles or banal incidents in the street. As an artist Sherry also applies this enquiry to the way he engages with art. Sherry’s work provides another way of thinking about the inspirational philosophy often found in this type of exchange, peering into the laws of the social mesh, repelling an accepted discourse and embracing other forms of meaning common to us all. Sherry’s performance works prompt us to question our daily rituals just at the point when they become unnoticed.