Table Games (2021) is a 7 hour 1 minute film, which is the result of a live edited performance that was live streamed on the 17th of April 2021 at 7pm. 

The work was created at a time in which liveness increasingly occurred in the online realm due to the restrictions in place due to Covid. Table Games materialises the conditions of its production -, the limitations, and restrictions in place at this time were the framework in which it came to exist. During the streamed performance the two artists live edited the four camera recordings over the course of seven hours. The live edit created an additional limitation, there would be no second edit thus accepting, the contingency of liveness.

In Table Games six characters sit around a table playing poker. They are playing for real money which the winner receives at the end of the performance. Each player has been given a score of gestures, sentences and actions that they activate over the course of the game. Although the performance is staged, the money has created a true motive, there is now something at stake. How does each player operate within their assigned score?

The length of the work grants the viewer a separate experience depending on the time of their visit, dropping into the performance at moments where it seems nothing happens, something is about to happen or perhaps something does happen. Time begins to disintegrate as hands of poker are repetitively dealt. As the evening progresses, the line between scripted performance, ad hoc improvisation and the personal motives and actions of the players become blurred. As the performance progresses the rules, structures and scores that the artists devised begin to fray and only the structure and rules of poker remain constant.

The performance is translated to screen through a combination of 360 degree tracking shots, birds eye overviews and two tightly framed handheld cameras, which capture the facial expressions, movements and conversations over the course of the seven hours. Cinematic props, soft lighting, costume, music and backdrop draw on the aesthetics of cinema, television and theatre simultaneously. The tempo and rhythm of the editing moves between different registers – long circular tracking shots; quickly edited, tightly framed sequences; shot reverse shot conversations and static overviews draw on a range of moving image vernaculars in a work that shifts between cinema, television, theatre and live stream.

This is the second iteration of Table Games as an exhibition. In this expanded installation the original live edited video stream is reassessed and the question of what constitutes the work is posed. Now that the liveness and contingency – which were integral to the original performance – are no longer present, is the legacy of the work a seven-hour one minute film, or is it documentation of an event? This question is posed and preliminarily explored in this exhibition at St. Luke’s where supporting structures, cables, unedited footage and large-scale projection, photo documentation, clocks and rough diagrams are present in an exhibition which attempts to deal with the legacy of the live event.

 Running time: 421min 03sec

Eva George Richardson McCrea (1990) | Lives and works in Frankfurt and Dublin. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include The German School, Goethe Institute, Dublin (2022); Filmmuseum Frankfurt (2022); FONDA, Leipzig (2021) with Nina Nadig; Women and the Machine, VISUAL Carlow, (2021) with Michelle Doyle and Coilin O’Connell; Riddles of the Stones, CCA, Glasgow, UK (2020), Made Ground, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin (2019) with Frank Sweeny. Screenings include Agitation Co-op Film Screenings, Temple Bar Galleries and Studios, Dublin, Ireland (2021); Irish Film Institute, Visual Carlow, 65th Cork International Film Festival, as part of AEMI Signals and Circuits (2020, 2021). She is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and a student at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. 

Nina Nadig (b.1991, Langenhagen, Germany) lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany. Her work engages with performance, film and imagemaking. Currently she is studying Fine Art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main in the film class. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include The German School, Goethe Institute, Dublin (2022), Filmmuseum Frankfurt (2022), Better be careful, Joane, Frankfurt (2021), Table Games, FONDA, Leipzig with Eva George, Moving Plants, Palmengarten, Frankfurt (2020), Fast vlt. Sogar auch, AEdT, Düsseldorf (2019). She is currently being funded by the Maincampus Stipendium Frankfurt and the Kulturamt Frankfurt.

This exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.