One of my favourite phrases, coined by one of my oldest friends, is “no-one can ever take away a first”. It’s certainly true and partly why I’m so proud that Hurtwood has played a small part in a world ‘first’: namely the world’s first Mixed Reality performance artwork – The Life by Marina Abramović.
Our small, but not unimportant, part in the process was to make two books that sit in a drawer in the case that holds the work. These two books serve both to describe the work and also to hold the legal documents that accompany the work.
Time was, as usual, short as the box had been handmade in the USA and wouldn’t arrive at Christie’s in London until a few days before the auction. Also, and sadly no longer unusual, was the fact that all the discussion and planning for the job had to be done remotely. Cloth samples were sent around the world, WhatsApp grew hot with intercontinental conversations and messages about text queries and layouts and, a few days after the box arrived in London and 24 hours before the auction, we were ready to try and place the books into their respective drawers. But would they fit? To say moments like this are nerve wracking is a little bit of an understatement. But they did fit: and they looked like they’d always been there.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing team from Tin Drum – Todd Eckert and Alysha Naples as well as the incredible designer Hugo Huerta Marin not to mention our own cast of experts from Ludlow and Pureprint. We’d been to the show, seen the artwork and played our part as history was made. And remember, nobody can take away a first.
Words: Francis Atterbury
Read more: Christies Feature on The Life