Vlatka Horvat & Tim Etchells
›Table Animals‹ is an open-ended game in which two players take turns to arrange and rearrange a mismatched set of wooden and plastic animal figurines on a small table top. At PACT the work is presented in two parallel ways; as a series of pre-recorded video performances and as a live participatory activity. In four specially commissioned half-hour video episodes, the artists Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells take on the ›Table Animals‹ task themselves. In these simple but surprisingly complex call-and-response performances, the two players/performers engage in a game that creates a wealth of patterns, narratives, formal arrangements and pictures. Through its playful and competitive trading back and forth of elements within a performative frame, ›Table Animals‹ captures a collaborative process of building a catalogue of possible spatial and social arrangements within a delineated physical frame, while becoming also a silent table-top theatre in which the surface of the table becomes a slowly changing stage.
Alongside the video episodes, ›Table Animals‹ is also presented for the first time as an activity that visitors/audience can take part in themselves. Tables are arranged and sets of animal figurines are provided. A simple set of rules is made available and everyone is invited to play, reinventing the game itself as they do so.
Table Animals is a collaboration between Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells. Video camera and edit : Hugo Glendinning