We’ve all been to a gallery and not paid much attention to the invigilators there to watch over the gallery. They’re often quietly sat in the corner, or observing us from afar. Hiske Eriks’ Wacht! flips this dynamic on its head and takes a quick look at what gallery security might get up to when there’s nobody watching.
I’m not sure I’ll ever look at gallery or museum security in the same way again
The show is beautifully simple and sweetly short at only 20 minutes. A security guard character fidgets awkwardly on her seat, the only sound in the theatre is the squeaking of the chair as she moves around – you can tell she’s uncomfortable at making these noises, not wanting to disturb the quiet of the museum.
As we move forward, the guard is clearly getting more bored and fed-up, her fidgeting becomes more extreme and she gets braver, stepping away from her chair and out into the gallery space, becoming the artwork and getting the shock of her life when a gallery customer comes in.
Eriks’ portrays the banality of the life of a quiet gallery security guard so well that I felt transported in the space she created. She was completely believable as the awkward invigilator, even when things started getting a little out of hand.
It was a pleasure to step into the world of Hiske Eriks, even if just for 20 minutes. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at gallery or museum security in the same way again!