LABoral and the artist Thom Kubli launch a competition to beat the world record of the longest guitar solo ever played

Action, object and public are the main focus of ‘Presencia activa’ [Active Presence], the exhibition opening at LABoral on 5 October of which this proposal is a part

Published: Sep 04, 2012
LABoral and the artist Thom Kubli launch a competition to beat the world record of the longest guitar solo ever played

Thom Kubli during his attempt to break the guitar solo world record as part of his work 'Record Attempt'. PHOTO: MARCO/Janite

Is it possible to spend 15 hours non-stop playing a guitar solo? Is it also possible to beat this mark and so break the guitar solo world record?

The German artist Thom Kubli and LABoral invite all those persons interested to break the guitar solo world record.  This call is part of the work Record Attemp by Kubli, one of the 12 pieces that will be shown in the exhibition Presencia active [Active Presence]. The show is coproduced by LABoral and MARCO-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo [Contemporary Art Museum in Vigo] and includes works that reflect on the evolution of performance art over the fifty years of its existence and its importance for contemporary art.

Thom Kubli himself set the first mark at 7 hours, 5 minutes and 4 seconds when the show was inaugurated in Vigo. Then, after several and repeated attempts, it was the Galician guitarist Cristian Fernández Graña who broke the world record for the second time, playing his guitar solo for 15 hours, 15 minutes, 15 seconds uninterrupted.

In Gijón, from 7 October until 25 February 2013, the closing date of Presencia activa, all those interested can apply by making a prior appointment and attempt to set the local record (by crossing the mark of more than seven hours recorded by Thom Kubli), or the world record, superseding the 13 hours established by Galician Gabriel Domínguez. All of the performances will be supervised by a witness and streamed online.

The competition regulations are very simple and consist of five rules which are to ensure that the dynamic of the guitar solo stays in recognisable relation to the musical and cultural reference of contemporary rock guitar solo-playing. In this way, the duration between two impulses (played notes) must not exceed ten seconds. For example: a single note can sound for up to ten seconds, then another note has to be played or the same note has to be picked again.

The guitar and all materials needed to perform the solo will be provided by LABoral. Participants must come accompanied by a witness who will be present for the duration of their guitar solo. Participants may bring more than one witness so that they can be present successively during the whole time of their record. Guitarists will not be able to leave the space while their guitar solo lasts. Should this happen, the mark set before leaving the room will be taken as their record. The guitarist and his/her witness(es) will sign a document in which they authorise Fundación Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial to take, record and reproduce pictures and videos of them for their broadcast on the LABoral website and on any other medium or in promotional materials for the exhibition.

For her part, the Bosnian artist Maja Bajević and the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón are looking for four performers or non-professional musicians interested in taking part in the development of the performance Slogans Remix which forms part of the exhibition Presencia active [Active Presence] opening at LABoral this coming 5 October. Along with the music group Basheskia & Edward EQ, Maja Bajević has set music to a hundred slogans which serves as the base for the performance which will be presented at the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón. The very same slogans will be activated at a later date in different places in Gijón during the months the exhibition is open, thanks to the collaboration from this group of non-professional singers. In this way, the political watchwords of the past—many of which, fortunately, are anachronistic— are returned to the daily context, taking up their cultural dimension again and sparking a social and political dialogue much needed today.
Applications: produccion@laboralcentrodearte.org

The Exhibition
In addition, Presencia activa [Active Presence] provides the opportunity to do bodybuilding, Pilates and aerobic exercises in a gymnasium-installation located in one of the exhibition rooms at LABoral, or “travel” in an enormous revolving turbine shaped like a barrel –similar to a rodent running wheel- from this 5 October.

Danish Mads Lynnerup became fascinated with how typical gym equipment looks and operates as objects in fitness centres. This everyday life observation helped him with the research he was carrying out to try to break open the static nature of art objects displayed in galleries and museums.  The installation Plastic Gymnastic has resulted from his interest in creating objects that can be used for a full workout and which, at the same time, make it possible for visitors to use them in the actual exhibition space, in this way changing the habitual codes of conduct in an art centre.

John Bock, a German artist notable for combining the theatre of the absurd with installations and unlikely settings, creates in Vas-y! a “dwelling” in a barrel that looks like a cross between a spaceship and a hamster wheel. As such, the wheel rotates by someone walking in it which makes it impossible to stay inside. In this piece, as in others, Bock alludes to a hilarious existence: an irreconcilable quandary between setting, its function and human aptitude.

The works making up Presencia activa are situated along the performance-installation binomial. At one end you find more theatrical-like proposals in which the spectator has a passive role and at the other end, those in which the public gets totally involved. In the middle, you find the different possibilities of relations between the two, and the space and environment comprising the work. With the exception of the pieces by John Bock and La Ribot, the rest of the works are new productions specific to this project. The exhibition at LABoral also includes Asturian artists Gema Ramos and Nerea Santiesteban Lorences.

FACT SHEET
Dates: 05.10.2012-25.02.2013
Curators: Sergio Edelsztein, Director, Center for Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv and Kathleen Forde, Chief Curator, EMPAC-Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy
Artists: Maja Bajevi, John Bock, Gary Hill, Thom Kubli, Mads Lynnerup, Alastair MacLennan, Sergio Prego, Gema Ramos, La Ribot, Carlos Rodríguez-Méndez, Nerea Santisteban Lorences and SUE-C+AGF
Coproduction: LABoral and MARCO-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo [Contemporary Art Museum in Vigo]
Venue: Galería de Exposiciones [Exhibition Gallery and Hall], Sala de Proyectos [Projects Room] and LABoral

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