Carpe Minuta Prima reflects on a number of issues including the economy, the value of our time and our work, the over-documenting of our lives, and what it means to sign away your soul. The inspiration for the work, however, came from a reflection on illness, health and what it means to Carpe Diem. Over a two day period, in an installation in Leeds’ Markets, the artist will offer individuals £1 for 1 minute of their life, giving them cash in exchange for them doing anything they wish for 1 minute on video.
By focussing on one minute of our time and offering to pay a £1 for it, Brian is drawing us into a discussion about what our time is worth. It’s playful and provoking. Setting this piece in a place of commerce where people are shopping and going about their business brings a hiccup to the day. You can pass by or choose to take part. You can record your minute in whatever way you wish and tomorrow you can buy it back on CD for £1. Annie Lloyd
Over a two day period, in an installation in Leeds Markets and presentation at The Light, Brian Lobel offered individuals £1 for 1 minute of their life, giving them cash in exchange for them doing anything they wish for 1 minute on video.
In this piece, the artists works with local assistants to ask people “Can I buy a minute of your time?” we will buy 60 minutes from 60 individuals. After each video is created, audience members sign the following contract:
“This certifies that Brian Lobel, with my consent and for the price of £1, has become the exclusive owner of the minute of my life contained within.” After the contracts are signed, individuals are photographed with the coin they receive.
DVDs with each individual minute are then burned, packaged with the photograph of them holding the coin and the contract they signed, shrink-wrapped, and then sold at an Unveiling (the following day) for £1.
Carpe Minuta Prima reflects on a number of issues including the economy, the value of our time and our work, the over-documenting of our lives, and what it means to sign away your soul.
The inspiration for the work, however, came from a reflection on illness, health and what it means to Carpe Diem. For many post-illness, or post-trauma of some sort, the pressure to ‘Live every day as if it’s their last day’ can be an unfair, or even disastrous, pressure. What happens when a life after near-death is not infused with this desire? Why are some charged with Seizing the Day while others can go about with their status quo?
The work premiered in Brixton Village Market (funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation) and was covered by a number of press outlets, including a feature in The Guardian. Subsequent performances of Carpe Minuta Prima were held in Cambridge at The Junction in May and in Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre (Ipswich) for PULSE Festival in June.
About the Artist
Brian Lobel is a London-based artist working in performance and live art. Since having cancer at age 20, he has been interested in how bodies are watched and considered by others. This led him firstly to a career as a solo monologuist, creating autobiographical work that was presented as one body in front of an audience – a metaphor for how a sick body is watched/ protected/judged by others. After moving to London in 2007, he became inspired by the city’s vibrant live art scene and his work began to change in scope and style, although always reflecting on themes of isolation, the watched body and health.
As a performer, Biran Lobel’s work takes many different forms (installation, cabaret performance, curated events, etc) and has been shown in a wide variety of contexts (museums, medical schools, outdoor music festivals and in people’s homes).
He is a Supported Artist at The Basement (Brighton) and an Associate Artist with Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine. Recent commissions and grants include from MotiRoti (for Purge), Wellcome Trust (for Fun with Cancer Patients), Jerwood Charitable Foundation (for Carpe Minuta Prima) and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (for Hold My Hand and We’re Halfway There). His first play, BALL, was published by Routledge in 2010 and, with it’s sequel An Appreciation, has been performed over 200 times in venues internationally. Other performances include Cruising for Art (V&A Museum, Latitude, Forest Fringe), Or Else Your Friends Will Have to Do It (Sacred at Chelsea Theatre), and HORA.