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The Institution (with Ian Breakwell)


Part of the Art Spectrum exhibition at Alexander Palace in north London, The Institution was a performance devised by Ian Breakwell and Kevin Koyne. The improvisation drew on Coyne's experiences as a nurse in a mental hospital (as they were called then), just outside Manchester, combined with his performances as a musician and song-writer. Breakwell at the desk, wearing the doctor's white coat, interceded with items of news - "we're at war in Northern Ireland" - delivered to the video camera, which Mike Leggett roamed around the space throughout, the image being seen on a large monitor to one side of the performance area. (There was no recording made). Though the presence of the camera and monitor amplified Breakwell's citing of The Media accounts of national and international events, Breakwell and Coyne presented the performance several times without the addition of the camera.