Statement, No

A conservatively dressed woman enters an office and sits down at a desk with an electric typewriter and a small stack of adding machine tape. There is a clock on the wall behind her. She loads the typewriter with a full roll of adding machine tape and begins to repeatedly type: “no no no….”. This action continues for the duration of eight hours with one half-hour lunch break and two 15 minute coffee breaks, a typical workday. Over the duration of the performance the typed paper begins to scroll and pile onto the floor in front. 

 

This work takes stoicism and boredom to the greatest degree. The audio is the clacking of the electric typewriter keys. This sound is at times regular (in three parts: N, O, [return]; N,O, [return], etc.), and at times has breaks, and speeds up or slows down according to the rhythm of the action. 

 

The woman in this performance is trapped. She is a regular office worker, but when we look closer we find that the action she is diligently performing does not even make sense. She is not typing letters for her boss, she is typing the word “NO” repeatedly onto adding machine tape. Her work seems futile. At the end of eight hours an almost comical, messy pile of tape will be the result of her labour. It is a small, silent, stoic, surreal gesture of protest.