Rose Finn-Kelcey
Mind The Gap

At the beginning of the 1970s, the British sculptor Rose Finn-Kelcey (*1945 †2014, UK) began creating huge flag pieces on which site-specific texts were displayed. She later worked extensively with photographic and live performances, usually solo or occasionally with Tina Keane. These performances are reflections on the role of the performer. For "Mind the Gap", she played with audience expectations by declaring that no performer would be appearing. Towards the end of the 1970s, she developed the concept ‘vacated performance’, which she used for the first time in her performance "Mayday Mayday Mayday" in 1981. Who exerts power and how, are questions that are posed to society through the work of art. Finn-Kelcey was also active in the 1970s in the Women Artists Collective, of which Hannah O’Shea was also a member.

Mind The Gap was performed in 1980 during the exhibition About Time at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. The exhibition included only British women artists working with time-based media. Finn-Kelcey did not allow photo documentation of this performance, except for the spatial set-up. In the performance, a female voice could be heard from the speakers, apologising for the artist’s not appearing. But later, while a male voice was reading from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she appeared and ran on a treadmill. The performance ended with her crouching still on the ground to the sound of a wailing siren until the audience disappeared.

Performance: 1980, Institute of Contemporary Art, London

Courtesy Rose Finn-Kelcey

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Tina Keane (KEA 1)
Hannah O´Shea (O´S 1)

in/visibility, sound, voice