Absent and Present

Apologies if updates have been sparse in number and in content. I was essentially useless last week due to the beginning of peak marathon training (coinciding with sudden “record breaking” heat) and a lack of sleep. Add to this the energy required to not get fired from my amazing new job and a trying family emergency and you get one useless person. I was even napping after work- Napping!

Fortunately, though, all things must pass- Been spending the weekend practically hibernating, the heat wave is breaking at this very moment (rain! huzzah!), and the family thing has been brought to an end that, when viewed unselfishly and objectively, is the best possible. Finally feeling like the me of seven days ago.*

Also been working on that drawing/performance collaboration that no one but me remembers (probably). As strange as it may sound coming from one who writes in first person narrative and makes largely autobiographical pieces, I hate being looked at, being the center of attention. My work? Fine, yes, totally. Look at it! Look! Just don’t look at me. With most of my work, there’s an object or image or words that can act as a buffer- tell the stories I want to tell while being detatched from myself. With performance, however, there’s immediacy. The audience is right. there.

With this drawing project, I knew almost from the beginning I didn’t want to do a big, elaborate ‘in a gallery with an audience’ type of performance.I admire the hell out of artists like Marina Abramovic, but Marina I’m not. Around the time of the Goodwill Project, I started to do a lot of thinking about performance as PERFORMANCE! vs. performance as ritual. Over the course of several conversations with artists who I’m lucky enough to know, including Hannah Barnes and Jen G., the idea of private performances came up. The idea of making things in general as a sort of meditative and ritualistic process is already a favorite theme of mine- even if the end product isn’t a tangible object, why couldn’t I keep working with this theme? Hannah in particular made a comment about ‘setting up an experience’- making public work (like the Goodwill Project) that invited participation which could be noticed or not. (sort of like Miranda July’s Eleven Heavy Pieces or Art Club’s shows).

So, over throughout September, I’ll be doing a series of five performances- each 1-5 minutes, each based on a 5 min. drawing from 5 artists I know that I’ve received over the course of a year. In keeping with the themes of impermanence, lack of control (on my part) collaboration, and the use of antiquated technology**, the performances will be executed with the help of 5 new artists met in the past year and documented with pinhole cameras.

This weekend I built a prototype and experimented with exposure times. Here’s a ‘best of’ (most of the rest are repeats of these images w/ slightly different exposures).

Also, I’m pretty sure using a matchbox to take photos is akin to magic. Definitely sure. I’m practically a wizard.

*Jeff Smith would say it was the rain.
**and in part because my A4 is in disrepair

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