In the frame of The gift exercise / Invitation 2, Willimann/Arai live for a certain time in an empty space with a display window in a lively area of a city, town or village. They ask residents and passers-by to lend them furniture and everything else they needed for living. In return, the locals can ask services from the artists. Each barter deal is documented by Willimann/Arai – in the form of a contract and a staged self-portrait with the respective loan and optionally also with its owner.
This setting forms the basis for a series of site-specific social experiments: By creating a complex system of host - guest constellations, it simultanously questions the ambivalences and interdependencies as well as the replaceability of these roles – and the power relations inscribed in them.
On one hand, in their status as non-residents, Willimann/Arai are dependent on the support and hospitality of the locals – they slip into the role of the guests, whereby the locals are referred to the role of the hosts. On the other hand, as hosts of the space, the artists receive the locals as their guests.
The gift exercise / Invitation 2 consist in the following interventions:
Invitation 2.1: Nakanojo
Invitation 2.2: Zurich