Jukebox


Jukebox, 1999
Four hours performance/installation at the opening of The Last Show on Earth,
10th December 1999, London.

At the opening of a show in a cold and damp basement I made very simple performance with me, my voice and a cardboard jukebox.
I were sitting in the jukebox, only with my head sticking up from the box. People had to put in 10 pence, press a button for the song they wanted to hear, and I would sing it for them. The eight buttons were for English nursery rhymes, one for a Danish children song, and the last button was for random/surprise.

It was interesting to watch how people entered the room. If they were alone, they often got a little scared, and didn't quite know if to relate to me as an object or as a person. Some then got embarrassed and left, while others got curious and got closer. I didn't speak to anyone. The only interaction I had with the audience, was when they chose a song, and I then sang it for them. In order to choose a song, they would have to be a part of the game by pressing one of the imaginary buttons, which I had painted on the box.

Most of the songs were sad or quite cruel song, which ,together with the fantastic acoustics in the basement, created a kind of sad atmosphere in the room. At the same time the situation was funny and absurd, and became almost tragicomic. During the night I began to lose my voice, and I obviously got more and more tired. This added another element to the installation; to a certain degree people would have to let me suffer in order be entertained.