Last week, Atlanta artists Amanda Platner and Hasani Sahlehe spent five days, for 16 hours a day, painting a room at the Downtown Player’s Club.
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They did that without speaking, and despite the endurance and effort of the project, the end result did not matter. It was a performance art piece looking at the process of working with a passion, how we communicate and how we collaborate. While the piece was called “Bipartisan,” the work was not about politics, but instead about what it means to work together.
“A collaboration is like a marriage. You constantly sharpen each other. You refine what is good in that person and hopefully file down what is not,” Sahlehe said.
Each artist had to direct the other artist in which materials and tools they used to paint the space. That, of course, can be very difficult when neither were allowed to speak. So over the course of the week, they developed a nonverbal language.
“It came on naturally. We didn’t discuss any of this beforehand,” Platner said. “Facial expression we could pick up on very easily. Even the stance … When we weren’t happy with what the other person was doing or they didn’t understand, we would bang on the wall.”
Platner and Sahlehe will give an artist talk detailing their experiences Wednesday night at the Downtown Player’s Club at 7 p.m.