Margret Wibmer’s performance “Time Out” as the title of the work suggests, invites us to interrupt our daily routine and pause for a moment, but it also invites us to form our own reasons for taking time or making it. ‘Time Out’ is an invitation to break form in public and before an audience. The intervention is uncomplicated: visitors are invited to wear a robe-like garment covering their clothes, and choose a place to lie down in the exhibition space for as long as they wish. The garment, designed and individually hand-crafted by Wibmer, signifies a transition into another mode and works as a protective medium between the wearer, the space and any onlookers. Together with the unusual invitation to lie down in a public space, the re-shaping of identity is included within the artist’s proposition.

“Time Out” plays with a shift in spatial relations, and also breaks form in relation to ground. It shifts subjectivity by simple means of changing perspective and orientation – allowing viewers to be on the ground looking up at the ceiling and, in other moments, to stand above bodies at rest as they merge and disappear into the ground. The special convergence of axes here involves the encounter of a forward rush of movement with the arresting halt of time. Wibmer breaks open further new questions through this convergence: How is horizontality becoming? Where does the form go? What does the invitation to lie flat in a public place involve? What is its relationship to time? How does it work as a gentle act of resistance

Horizontality, achieved every day when we sleep, becomes a socially significant act when it is performed in public. As the horizontal form becomes absorbed within the architectural space, formlessness and time-taking, resist the endless headlong rush of productivity and speed. It also reworks predictable methods of artistic production by not only offering an experience but by also setting up the conditions for heightened sensitivity to one’s surroundings, for rules and taboos to be broken, and for preconceptions to be tested and adjusted. Wibmer believes we need this reminder, and creates work with the aim that this act might tip the balance back to a more liveable relationship with time. It is a reminder that we need to stop, and that doing so will not, in turn, stop the world from turning.

(Excerpts from a text written by Marianna Maruyama about Margret Wibmer’s work Time Out.)

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