Untitled (Prayers) 1996 - 2005 is a series of understated and deceptively simple actions, which have been created by Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci, and which incorporate mundane materials. 70 such actions have been developed by them to date, each lasting between one and nine minutes. Of these, up to 15 are carefully edited together by Cool and Balducci to produce an evening performance lasting between 45 and 55 minutes. Each performance is unique, with a different set of actions being performed and in a different sequence.
Cool and Balducci use the term sequence, borrowed from the language of film, to describe these actions in which, through a slow zoom effect, the viewer is led to a close-up revelation on their own experiences. The artists investigate individual memory and experience with the aim of producing emotional tension, moments of suspension and uncertainty, and as they put it "to touch people". It is their intention to establish an immediate, intimate and charged dialogue with their audience.
Every single action is followed by an interval, a moment of stasis that concentrates the attention on the physical space that Marie Cool repeatedly leaves vacant by standing on the side. Though it is in fact possible to describe some actions conceived by Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci, it is important to state that their work is completely detached from any narrative contingency.
..."In Untitled (Prayers) Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci tell no stories; they tell the truth. These pieces are resolutely non narrational and, instead of fiction, put forward the stubborn presence of what it is tempting to identify as something related to autism and tautology. And so, for the critic, description may suffice. It is enough to say that Marie Cool stands to one side, puts her hand in some lotion, picks up a handful of salt, moves to the center, stands between two A4 sheets of paper laid on the floor, stretches out her arms crosswise, palms facing the floor, and lets the salt tall onto the paper. That is the action. But here description must continue. The salt, made invisible by distance, sounds like rain when it hits the paper. That is the image."...
Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci live and work in Paris.
Selected performances: attitudes, Geneva, 2000; Fri-art, Fribourg, 2001; Home, 2002, London; South London Gallery, 2002-2005; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2004, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, 2003-2004; École nationale supérieure des beaux-art, Paris, 2004; Festival Avignon, 2004; Festival La Batie, Geneve, 2004; Kampnagel, Hambourg 2005.
Untitled (Prayers) 1996-2005
Commissioned by New Moves International for the National Review of Live Art. Produced by Marie Cool, Fabio Balducci and Marc Pérenns, Co-produced by The South London Gallery and BBI (Belluard Bollwerk International). Funded by Arts Council England with additional support from the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.
A very special thank you to Pierpaolo Calzolari and Marc Pérenns
Marie Cool Fabio Balducci would also like to thank: attitudes, Jean Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser, Robert Ayers, Philippa Barr, Paua Brown, Sophie Calle, Sophie Claudel, Gianmarco Del Re, Samia Doukali, Laurent Goumarre, Donna Lynas , Live Art Development Agency, Lois Keidan and Daniel Brine, Margot Heller, Nicola Hood, Debbie Kermode, Norbert Klassen, Sarah Martin, Nikki Milican, Rita, Michel Ritter, Luciana Rogozinski, Karine Saporta, Mr Joseph Schnyder and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, Eva Maria Stčting, Olivier Suter, Jonathan Watkins, Mark Waugh.