Carpe Minuta Prima
Meaning “Seize the minute”, this 2-day to 2-week installation playfully explores themes of economy, the value of our time and our work, the over-documenting of our lives and what it means to sign away your soul…
In a busy public space, Brian Lobel and his assistants, dressed in black suits with red shirts, ask passersby to sell him a minute of their time for £1. If they agree to the Mephistophelian pact, they are brought into an unadorned closet filmed doing anything they wish for 1 minute and asked to sign over ownership of that minute to Brian: “This certifies that Brian Lobel, with my consent, and for the price of £1, has become the exclusive owner of the minute of my life contained within.”
Later, all the collected DVDs are unveiled to the public, each a unique art object containing the participants 1-minute video, their photograph with their earnings on the front, and their contract on the back. Each DVD is then available to buy for the price of £1 and the hard drive containing all archival information is destroyed, ensuring each DVD is a one-off minute of someone’s life.
Some of the filmed minutes will be terrible, some will be meaningless, some will be boring, but others will be expansive, exciting, sexy, dangerous, restful, important, political, romantic or touching, much like in life. It takes all kinds, however according to the clock and to the price tag, they all are worth exactly the same.
The inspiration for Carpe Minuta Prima comes from the pressure for people post-illness or post-trauma to engage with cliches like “seize the day”.
Presented in: The Brick Box, Brixton Village Market, London; Kirkgate Market, Leeds as part of Compass Festival of Live Art; Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, Ipswich as part of PULSE Festival; Jubilee Library, Brighton as part of Brighton Festival, produced by The Basement; The Junction, Cambridge as part of Sampled Festival. Carpe Minuta Prima was also featured as part of Caravan, a showcase of New English Performance, in May 2012.
Development supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
“the urge to use our time more profitably and live life to the full is a strong one, and something Carpe Minuta Prima cunningly taps into”
Article about Carpe Minuta Prima in the Guardian
Short Documentary from show in Brixton Village Market:
Audience reaction in Brixton Village Market: