A small stall was set up in a marketplace, close to other market stalls and in sight of the facades
of multinational businesses. At the stall, the services of
a local professional ‘arbitrator’ was made available,
without charge, to the public for the period of one day. Arbitration is the process in
which disputes are settled by the use of a professional mediator.
Arbitrators are primarily used in commercial situations in which
conventional discussion processes have broken down, but in which
peace must be created. The process may be familiar to anyone
who recalls the clashes between trade unions and their often-corporate
employers in the days before the globalised erosion of union
The arbitration service was
on offer for the period of one day for two (or more) people
who had a dispute – any dispute - to resolve. The arbitrator
was situated at an office-style table, with two office-style
chairs for members of the public to sit down. Prior to
launch, the service was advertised in the local media and
signs were also placed next to the stall.
The piece also made reference to larger questions of
conflict. Arbitration is inherently concerned with the attempt
to create peace. Thus this tiny site, almost
as small as a picnic table, alluded to notions of a peaceful
Utopia, whilst it nevertheless seemed vulnerable, dwarfed by
the size and architecture of the surrounding environment. The
site offered a tiny and temporary peace zone that was gone all
as installed in Moscow Square, Budapest (2003) as part of the exhibition 'Moscow Square', organised by Museum Ludwig, Budapest.
Conflict Management (Budapest) as installed in Stephansplatz, Karlsruhe (2005) as part of the exhibition 'Critical Societies', at the Badischer Kunstverein. Photo: Thorsten Hallscheidt
Conflict Management(Tirana) as installed in the marketplace, Tirana (2005) as part of the Tirana Biennale, curated by Zdenka Badovinac.
Photo: Igor Andjelic.
Advertising produced for the piece
as installed in Karlsruhe, Germany(2005)