The Beginning of The Grain Escape

Through our research we found the work of Stan’s Café, a unique project that specialises in educating people through their original concept of using grains of rice to represent populations and statistics in an effective way that has proven to shock the observer as well as to put these figures into perspective. Their piece called ‘Of All The People In All The World’ focuses on drastic statistics such as ‘People who will die in the world today’. The vast amount of rice that is shown in one of their clips on their website highlights our own mortality as well as comparing to other such statistics that may seem not as severe, such as ‘People who had cosmetic surgery in the world last year’. The physicality of Stan’s Café’s works effectively as the varying sizes of the piles of rice has a unique quality that seems beautiful as these representations of people in the form of rice in the studio creates a tone of remarkable perspective.

‘Of All The People In All The World’1

‘At site, social, cultural, political, geographical, architectural and linguistic aspects of context may inform or prescribe the structure and content of performance.’2

Although our café can not physically hold the same amount of statistics nor are we able to obtain such huge figures and facts, this was not our full intention as we wanted this to be an element of what we are trying to portray. The facts that we wish to reveal to our observers will be significant to the place of the library and our environment, which will hopefully either change people’s perspectives on the library or at the very least educate people. To create the aesthetics of this piece we chose to spend a day counting individual grains of rice until we reached 20, 000 (filling one cup) in order to then calculate how many would be required for the rest of our figures. We chose to individually count the grains of rice to revert back to basics due to the site originally being a grain factory.

Counting grains, 7/3/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Charlotte Mooney

Counting grains, 7/3/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Charlotte Mooney

6000 grains of rice, 7/3/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Stephanie Alcock

6000 grains of rice, 7/3/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Stephanie Alcock

As our process developed we found that chalking these statistics onto a blackboard that was titled ‘Specials’ in our café would catch the customers eye and educate them subconsciously as they may have thought the board was a menu showing the ‘soup of the day’.

'SPECIALS' board stating statistics, 3/5/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Stephanie Alcock

‘SPECIALS’ board stating statistics, 3/5/2013, GCW Library, Photograph by Stephanie Alcock

Word count: 443

  1. Yarker, James (2011) Stan’s Café Theatre Company, Online: http://www.stanscafe.co.uk/project-of-all-the-people.html (accessed: 28 March 2013) []
  2. Pearson, Mike (2010) Site-Specific Performance, London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 143 []












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