Psychic Scott on the Phone to Duchamp


Drinkall’s installation Psychic Scott on the Phone to Duchamp comprised of an audio recording of a professional psychic and feral scallywag called Scott contacting the late artist Marcel Duchamp that was piped into analogue telephone headsets dangling down from an oversized table. The oversized table was a replica of a smaller table that may also be shown with the larger table, installed with a device that makes the table top rise and fall with reference to table-tapping. Drinkall also references table-tapping and spooky animation of tables in her work Schizophrenic Tabernable Table Tapping, which incorporates the brainwave of a coma patient into the top surface of two interlocking tables. A professional psychic from Circular Quay, Sydney, was recruited as a collaborator in order to contact Duchamp. Duchamp’s mentor was the artist psychic Frantisek Kupka, and his aesthetics recognized telepathic phenomena operating between the artist and the viewer through analogy of the telepathy occurring between analyst and patient within Freudian psychoanalysis. The psychic, called Scott, claimed to be in regular contact with Jean Cocteau and speculated that he would also be able to contact Duchamp, although he insisted that he could not accept a fee but instead requested a small amount of pot. Drinkall obtained this with the help of the psychic’s flatmate in Newtown, Sydney. The work was shown with other works exploring telepathy at Kudos Gallery, including the ‘visual telepathy’ video performance Girl Mesmer. At Artspace Visual Arts Centre Psychic Scott on the Phone to Duchamp included photographs of Scott wearing a tank top with text ‘making porn’ whilst making notes and drawing images during his moment of contact with Duchamp, and when at Peloton Gallery it was shown with just the large table and the audio component.