Public Artwork

Table Talk

Ilan Sandler, Table Talk, 2005
Ilan Sandler, Table Talk, 2005
Ilan Sandler, Table Talk, 2005
St. Mary's University Art Gallery, Restaurant, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Sandler, Ilan
Text author(s): 
Installation year: 

Table Talk is a set of three circular copper table tops with text stamped around the circumference. The text is made up of excerpts from interviews with victims of or witnesses to violent crimes. The tables have been installed in the food court, around the corner from the St Mary's University Art Gallery. The text stamped around their perimeters are from conversations with Ryan Suter, an artist living in Halifax; and Nino Richards, who was a high school student in Philadelphia at the time of our conversations in 2002. The third table has been left blank.

Text of the artwork: 


I was walking down Creighton
just past Gerrish a kid with his hoodie up asked:
Do you have any money? Are you drunk?

As I said no he punched me hard on my jaw
The second time he hit me I spun around
I had my head to the ground
I could see a bunch of feet behind me

As I tried to run I felt this smash on the
back of my head it was the most amazing
sound it was a pop

I blacked out
but I was so pumped with adrenalin
when I hit the ground and slid on my knees
I popped right back up.

I fell onto the back of a car
four kids grabbed me
they pushed me towards a construction site

A kid said: hit him again,
they cracked me again with the two by four.
They pushed me around the corner and tried
to get me into the pit of a basement

I didn't realize the blood from my head
was going into my face
I couldn't understand why I had this blurred vision

I started pushing and got out of the construction site
but I got banged again, my face hit the cement,
my body flexed again and I popped right back up

I continued running and lights started to come on
people started opening their doors.
I started banging on a friend's door.
They answered but my friends did not recognize me:
you sound like Ryan but I don't recognize you.

I was the third person attacked that night,
I think there were four kids, one was white and the others were black,
I ended up with twenty five staples in my head.


They attacked me from behind. But I didn't fall.
If I would have fallen they would have stomped the crap out of me.

I didn't run. When they saw the boy's back they got off me.
I cut the boy's back and when they saw the blood they all got off me.

I didn't even see what I picked up to defend myself.
The police said it was like a piece of a box cutter. It was old and rusty and I cut myself pretty bad.

When I ran across the street the police locked me up. They didn't see what happened.

They locked me up and then I went to the hospital and then to the youth study center.

I defended myself. They didn't want to fight me one on one.
I thought though everything was squashed because I went to the dean.

They played it pretty smart. They caught me when I was going home from school.

I had damage done to my eye and a little bit of damage done to my ribs and back

Text theme: 
Testimony on crimes or violence

On a roll

Carter Flinn, Sue (2005).  On a roll. The Coast. vol. 13 (18) ( September 28)