Free excuses

Instruction: To give away excuses for free.

Time: Various times
Duration: 4x 1-hour sessions
Conditions: The Excuse Agency*, advertising chalkboard, free excuses, s 9 Fair Trading Act 1986**

Description: Free Excuses, 2013, was part of Weakforce4, an international, collaborative, visual arts project at ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland. This project explored how and why artists work together or collaborate and the notion of authorship within a collective and the process of art production in the public sphere. Free Excuses operated out of the Projects from the Caravan and on certain days of the month-long exhibition members of The Excuse Agency were to give away excuses for free. The idea was to explore the nature and relationship of ‘the excuse’ as not only a social irritant but also one with significant force when interacting with other artists or members of the public.

Free Excuses as an artwork however, did not quite go ahead as planned. Staff training–with a particular emphasis on ensuring compliance with the Fair Trading Act 1986–occupied the majority of the scheduled public sessions. The Excuse Agency was therefore only able to offer its services for a limited time and on a select basis. Notwithstanding that there were conversations between Agency members and the public–and genuine requests for Free Excuses at other times during the exhibition–The Excuse Agency would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of Free Excuses–as a promised artwork–not being available during the scheduled and publicised times.

* The Excuse Agency consisted of Joe Jowitt, Ziggy Lever, Deborah Rundle and Layne Waerea.
** s 9 of the Fair Trading Act 1986 states that no person in trade shall engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.