A fictional guided-tour
Date: 9 June 2011
Place: vanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven
Conceived and presented by Angela Serino
“As if she worked here” is the title of a fictional guided tour I created for “Secret Powers for Identity, Security and Self-Respect in Troubling Times”, the solo show by artist Maja Bekan at van Abbemuseum. Bekan’s work consisted of a fully equipped office, used by anyone in need of an urgent place to work, and a series of public performances.
For the tour, I used the Museum’s spaces on the ground floor as if they were rooms of a private house. This change of the space’s identity was established via an overlapping of maps visualized through small signs, and a new floor plan of the Museum (see poster).
This new map was the conceptual framework for a monologue revolving around the figure of an anonymous woman, most likely an artist or a cultural worker (represented by me, the guide). While guiding the public around each singular space of this ideal house, I spoke of the current working conditions of the artist and of cultural producers in general, who are often self-employed and work from home.
Central to the guided tour was the attempt to describe what this kind of work entails: the multiple roles a person has to play, as a woman, artist, teacher, mother, lover, friend, and the issues brought by each and all those roles (such as coping with expectations of professionalism and states of precariousness; the time (or lack of time) for love and caring, the awareness of how sex and private relationships shape the informal network that is at the core of our profession, and more.