For Tableau Vivant TV, created for the Sydney Biennale in 2010, Jankowski collaborated with several individuals involved in the Biennale, including the curator, the artist’s own production team, and visitors to the opening. Together, they staged tableaux vivants representing key moments in the production of the work itself – from its conception, to the ups and downs of realizing it, to the exhibition opening.
In tableaux vivants, people reenact historical paintings or events by reproducing the setting, assuming the characters’ poses, and remaining still while an audience looks on. In Tableau Vivant TV, only one person moves among the motionless participants: a different journalist addressing the significance of each scenario.
For example, Giulia Basile, a correspondent from the German channel ZDF, reports live from the artist’s bathroom. Behind her, Jankowski lies stationary in the bathtub, reenacting the moment when he came up with the idea for the project. Later, in a fancy restaurant, Anne Fulwood, Australia’s Channel Ten news anchor, narrates the moment when the artist pitched his idea to the Biennale’s director, David Elliot.
Each of the journalists has their own style of delivery. A TV cook describes Jankowski’s unedited video material as »ingredients.« A traveling news correspondent witnesses a moment of crisis in Jankowski’s process. He sits on the beach listening to Van Morrison while she explains that he is asking himself, »Will I ever become as professional and as organized as Pierre Huyghe? […]
Do other artists suffer as much as I do?«
(1 HD Cam, 1 Blu-ray), 31:42 min, PAL, 16:9, color, sound, English with subtitles (Italian), edition of 5, II