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In this simple dinner party scenario a practical joke escalates into bickering and violence. Nauman hired actors to perform it, getting them to play the scene a number of different ways. The variations include one where the male/female roles are reversed; a sequence showing the rehearsals which include the directors instructions on the sound track; and slow motion segments of the chair-pulling action. The wall of blaring monitors, the scripting, and hypnotic repetition all build the aggressive tension. Moral judgements are called into question as the power relations shift and the drama unfolds.

May 2002