Power Game

ICA, 2009

1 min 30 secs (Trailer)

Originally staged by Liliane Lijn during the Festival for Chilean Liberation at the Royal College of Art, London in 1974, Power Game was recently staged at the ICA, at Baltic in Gateshead, during the AV Festival, in March 2011 at the Arches in Glasgow, and in 2012 at the Zabludowicz Collection.

Power Game is both a game and a live unrehearsed performance that uses gambling to investigate the politics of identity and power. Played as an altered game of Chemin de Fer using a pack of word cards Lijn invented, Power Game is principally concerned with the power of words and how people interpret meaning, depending on their interests and preconceptions.

Invited players and members of the public who join the table have to demonstrate their wit, originality, or economic/political/cultural influence to secure the votes that win the hand. Each live performance is video-taped from beginning to end and simultaneously broadcast live on screens both in the casino and in the café bar, intercut with video from past performances.

Lijn’s work makes extensive use of new technologies and a broad range of media to explore properties of language, light and motion and has drawn influence from science, oriental and western philosophies and mythology.

Video edited by Karen Lobban with music by Steve Hendricks