b. 1969, UK / Finland
John Court has been living in Tornio, Finland, since 1997. As a durational performance artist, time is one of the most important elements in Court’s work. Often, he performs for 8 hours, the length of a working day. Other times he performs throughout an entire event or during the opening hours of the specific venue (museum, institution), in which the event takes place. Lately he has been interested in letting the objects and materials that he uses in his performances determine the duration of his work. He does not consider his performances as a solo piece, since the element of collaboration is inherent in them, be it through his engagement with curators, organizers, artists, viewers, objects, spaces and time.
Court’s works are responsive to the site and often the continuous, repetitive action creates a rhythm that runs parallel to that of the site. In all his works, he is fundamentally concerned with drawing or writing, as drawing connects line, movement, space and time. He has exhibited extensively in Scandinavia, and has been invited to perform at major events such as, 2017: UP-ON Live Art Festival (Chengdu China), SIGNAL Festival (Brussels, Belgium); 2016: Beijing Live (China): 2015: Viva! Art Action (Montréal, Canada) ; 2014: 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto, Canada), DigitaLive (Guangzhou, China); 2012: SpaceX Gallery (Exeter, UK); 2010: Guangzhou Live Art Festival (China), ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland); 2005: Venice Biennale (Italy); 2004: Liverpool Biennial (UK).
Performance by John Court
John Court’s work often refers to his own days at school, counting (or trying to), reading and drawing. In this site-specific action in the decommissioned St-Louis-de-Gonzague Elementary School, Court utilized wooden stair handrails in this durational performance action.