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Quenton Miller

The Ongoing Conversation #1.3

The Confidence Man - A Theatre Performance


21/01/2014 –
– 30/11

The Ongoing Conversation offered a series of fast-paced one-day exhibitions, conceived as a dialogue rather than a series of isolated events. During three weeks the exhibition spaces became a stage for orchestrated ambiguity, paradox, spectatorship and theatricality. From Melville to Wikipedia, from post-colonial questions to universal issues as love and death; all of this were explored and performed in six mini solo-exhibition events.

Featuring a range of international artists, each exhibition was complemented with an invited guest who lectured, performed or participated.

This project was the outcome of a collaboration between 1646 and the Master Artistic Research, The Hague.

The Confidence Man, Herman Melville’s farewell to fiction, is a book of fake feelings, stock market plays, money-soliciting stories and TED Talk-like speeches. It is a sequence of meetings on a steamboat heading down the Mississippi, and though published 157 years ago when capitalism was expanding and the American Civil War was approaching, it’s also a book about the times of PR and the GFC we’re going through now.

Professional speakers and performers of all kinds delivered speeches adapted from the text as a theatrical performance. It was filmed and the speeches and pitches were directed to a live studio audience to test how belief is staged.

Performers: Jeremiah Fleming, João Paixão, Abner Preis, Pasquale Camporeale

The performance was accompanied by a guest-lecture by Frans-Willem Korsten.


About The Master Artistic Research is a postgraduate study for artists, based at the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague.


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