Whilst posing as guests, a group of actors intercepted visitors at an exhibition opening and tried to persuade them that they had already met somewhere, and had been helped by them in some way.Towards the end of the exchange a strange detail would be implanted into the conversation, in order to arouse suspicion. The ‘red herring’ consisted of a circumstance so specific the subject was more likely to be thrown off. This guided them towards a position where they were able to choose whether or not the initial tale was flattering enough for them to overlook the more dubious elements.By using only positive false memories, Takala enabled an atmosphere in which the truth of the situation mattered less than way the situation framed the subject. The social context directly encouraged seeing oneself through the eyes of another and the possibility to quietly indulge ones own vanity. The final part of the performance was a conversation between the artist and members of the public who had interacted with the actors and agreed to discuss how they had experienced the performance and whether or not they took the bait.
Bait was devised for the Visitors event on Governor’s Island, New York 2015 and was subsequently adapted for Performing the Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2016