Cally Spooner: DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo), 2021 (detail). Photo: Aurélien Mole
Cally Spooner: Duration
Aug 26 – Oct 29, 2023
Copenhagen, Denmark

Since 2021, the internationally acclaimed visual artist Cally Spooner has been an associate research fellow at O–Overgaden, developing a long-term itinerant project – moonlighting as choreography, sound, book, rehearsal, philosophy study, and opera.

A main focus of Spooner’s project is asking how “performance” – the 24/7 demand to competitively “perform” (well) at all times, whether on social media, at work, or through efficient sleep – has come to govern our social bonds. And, not least, asking how such metric governance might be resisted by adopting other models of time. Can alternative temporalities subvert standard, constantly ticking, ‘chrono-normative’ clock time by appearing dead, unscheduled, out of sync, undetectable, in a state of rehearsal, or even by insisting on durational longevity?

As an installment of this ongoing project, the exhibition at O–Overgaden Duration explores the potentials of “durational” or long-term collaborations. Spooner’s existing work DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo) (2021), a large-scale, architectural projection of a solo dance to camera, serves as a main work as well as a backdrop against which new work and conversations develop. Among these, protagonist of the film and long-term collaborator, dancer Maggie Segale, evolves DEAD TIME (Maggie’s Solo) into new choreography during a three-day public workshop held on September 21–23 (3–5pm); Will Holder closes an ongoing talk series with Spooner in O–Overgaden’s O–Rooom; and Spooner workshops an immersive soundtrack with local children.

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Crawling out into O–Overgaden’s transitional spaces – the street entrance, event space (O–Rooom), and stairway – a new sound installation, Principles (2023–), provides an entry into this scenario. Collaborating with young children, the piece contains their fussing voices, cheerfully counting, excitedly showing (off) their new skills. The immediately endearing, recognizable sound of children counting (learning how to cut lived duration into measurable time) makes it difficult not to count along. Synced to the repeating beep, the piece invites a long series of questions about when and how children are socialized into the metric norms and pace of society; when and how school grades, economics and math set in – these institutional, societal standards or the so-called “reality principle”, prompting the title Principles.