Preston, Julieanna. No Fixed Seating [performative installation]. At Sexuate Subjects: Politics, Poetics, Ethics, Wates House, UCL, London, curated by Jane Rendell, Peg Rawes and Ana Araujo, 2010.


On 3 December 2010, we gathered, in a place like this:    

a lecture theatre   

with a flat floor,                       

no fixed seating and one-way basic project.

It was winter in London and the cold and grey of the day permeated into this space in much the same manner that we each crossed time-zones and political borders -- through transpiration.

We lugged, lodged and wedged our bodies into chairs such as these:



stacking and uniform.

The installation was sited in this lecture theatre and upon all or most of its ‘no fixed seating’ for the duration of the Sexuate Subjects/ Whirlwinds Symposium. These ornamental surfaces were constructed with reference to Irigaray’s essay, ‘The “Mechanics” of Fluids’ and architectural building science, in particular, ergonomics and building envelope detailing. My material palette, informed by Irigaray’s own metaphoric language, elaborated on attributes of permeability, filtration, absorbency, retention, repulsion and degrees of fixity.

Credit: Wendy Neale, technical assistant

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