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TITLE: Certain Cancellations
AUTHOR: Tim Etchells
PERFORMERS: Frank, Ronnie, Peter, Luke
Tim Etchells’ project Certain Cancellations comprises a set of three posters/flyers which unequivocally announce the cancellation of a series of entire days.
For its presentation at Manifesta 9 as part of the parallel events programme, coinciding with the dates of the press preview, professional preview and opening; Etchells posters and flyers were distributed widely in Genk by ‘performers’. The posters and flyers give scant information concerning the reason or scope of the proposed cancellations but the announcements – in bold letters on day-glo paper – appear to encourage the viewer to abandon all plans for and expectations of each day. Performers for the work’s presentation at Manifesta 9 were: Frank, Ronnie, Peter and Luke.
Referencing the colour scheme and design of commercial SALE or ‘Closing Down’ posters Etchells Certain Cancellations corral this excitable, lurid and sensational aesthetic to create cryptic signals of generalised negativity, psychological withdrawal and economic collapse. 31 May is described as being CANCELLED DUE TO TOTAL LACK OF INTEREST, 1 June as CANCELLED DUE TO TOTAL LACK OF ENERGY whilst 2 June is announced as CANCELLED DUE TO TOTAL LACK OF ENTHUSIASM. As with Etchells’ neon works and his 2011 internet project Vacuum Days (www.vacuumdays.com) the absence of detailed information in Certain Cancellations leads the viewer into a deeply ambiguous guessing game regarding the status, seriousness, reach or context of its textual propositions.