Finlay J Hall

ON FINLAY AND SOME SLUGS

“Boombox Chess” performance (2018)

With Scottish summer excursions occurring in abundance, wooosh’s Finlay J Hall last week found himself alone and unsupervised, and took the fortuitous opportunity to exhibit a work of his own making. Not wanting to toot our own flutes too strongly, but still wanting to give him a wee write up, here is a somewhat wandering text that could well be titled: when the gang’s away, the slugs shall play. 🐌🕺🏼🥳 –

Finlay (J Hall), who under casual circumstances could be described as a performance artist, would be better described as directing the performances of others – whether in a competitive coin toss, the acquisition of sandwiches, in their experience of music or participation in a game of chess – often inventing roles that invert or exploit the hierarchy of artist and audience.

These tend to be exchanges entirely free of convolution – energising interactions both silly and serious; conceptual, yet overseen by an earnest enthusiasm for people and their embodied experience. Accumulated along the way are independant and immediate forms of documentation – gig posters and communal drawings, leftover tinnies and paper aeroplanes scattered on the floor. The candor of these events is expressed equally by his use of material and objects: inherently ad-hoc, duly DIY.

Finlay’s piece for wooosh, ‘Euston Station to Peckham Rye’, though not explicitly performative, is both a set of directions and the self-generated documentation of an event. Exposed to the gallery space it has received the concerted attention of some neighboring slugs, who – unable to navigate the instructed course from Euston to Peckham due to both geographical inconvenience and a lack of literacy, and motivated more strongly by a taste for damp surfaces and very delicious wallpaper paste – have made their own tracks around the work.

Our wee slug pals have become an optimal audience of collaborating performers, propelled by the most sincere impulses of sensation and consumption – generating as they go not the elaborate shells of more aesthetically minded molluscs, but a modest trace of silver slime on an A4 land of plenty. Their contact with the work is close and pure, its substance felt right in their gastropedic guts. Would that I were a single long and sticky foot.

Slug Parts | College of Agricultural Sciences | Oregon State ...

I am not certain if I am saying Finlay is like a slug, or that those who participate in his work are like slugs, or if there is much of interest to be said about slugs at all. What I would guess is that in their community their trails function as signposts, of who has been where and what they did and what they felt, making this text just another mucal path – a silvery excretion, to follow or ignore at your own discretion.

You can follow Finlay’s inedible digital output over at @loonbeams , and visit the slugs at any soggy bit of wall/floor near you