On Endurance and Adrian Parsons: EVERYNONE, July 11 at Transformer
For the last eight years, Adrian Parsons has maintained a single, continuous document of ideas- digital page upon page of unrealized artworks and actions. In a 48 hour “endurance installation,” he will transcribe the document, repeatedly, onto the walls of Transformer.
For the last eight years, Adrian Parsons has maintained a single, continuous document of ideas- digital page upon page of unrealized artworks and actions. In a 48 hour “endurance installation,” he will transcribe the document, repeatedly, onto the walls of Transformer. The first 24 hours will be in private, with spectatorship occurring incidentally by the public through the storefront window, and the second 24 hours will occur as the public opening to the exhibition, beginning at 6pm on Thursday, July 11. As Adrian writes out his ideas, the viewer is offered erasers. “Questioning the commerce or carelessness of re-appropriation through producing a space-as-document, Parsons invites the public to take his concepts for themselves or delete the text through their own gesture of erasure.”
This is the first of three solo shows taking place at Transformer as part of E10, in the Exercises for Emerging Artists program that I am coordinating. In our bi-weekly meetings at Transformer with lead guest mentor Kathryn Cornelius, Adrian has made frequent reference to “space-as-document,” that is, opening the intangible space of “the cloud,” the digital world of information, and physically rendering a part of that endless space.
The document that Adrian will write is personal- he is layering ideas of disembodied “information” with nearly diaristic content. In erasing, the viewer, or participant, is given a destructive way of reading the work. The work has a set beginning and end, a 48 hour duration, but within that second 24 hours the work begins to spiral, potentially becoming a long loop of build-up and break-down. The earthworks artist Robert Smithson said, “Language should find itself in the physical world, and not end up locked in an idea in somebody's head.” I'm interested in the way that the content of the work being transcribed, which was written over such a long time, will relate to the durational performance of the writing.
I am excited that each of the three E10 exhibitions take advantage of and break apart the convention of the opening. On July 25, Jane Claire Remick will use the time as a registration period for classes she's holding through her exhibition. On August 8, chukwumaa will complete the last part of the exhibition installation through a performance.
Like any work contingent on audience participation, the outcome can't really be known ahead of time. Will the work be encountered with reverence, a kind of vigil, or more social and convivial? Openings at Transformer's petite space tend to be lively and crowded, hosting a spill of people on the sidewalk outside- particularly in this heat. I expect a normal crowd at the normal 6-8 time, but then what? Initial readings of the work will be changed by the work's insistence on time and dependent on viewer's participation. A great practitioner of endurance works, Linda Montano has done a series of seven-year long exhibitions. She said, “Working with time allows for timelessness. You almost have to grab time to go out of time. Focus and concentration and discipline and spaciousness all happen at the same time when you work with endurance and time. It inhibits scatteredness. It inhibits shallowness. It helps us to go places that change brain waves, literally. If something's done for a long period of time, then brain chemistry changes.”
I've worked with Adrian now on a number of projects, he has a tendency to surprise me. At the beginning of May, after an E10 meeting and days before I brought him to Brooklyn to perform at Grace Exhibition Space with me, I let Adrian browse through my emails. He started slowly, searching first for art-speak words he was sure that I use as a curator, and then getting into more personal language. We were sitting on the floor of Transformer, he was sourcing content from me for his performance. An avid user of the screen shot, he collected many snaps of my personal and professional emails. His performance at Grace Space was partly a sound piece he made from those emails and partly an improvised play between us, in which he gave me objects to deal with. He didn't tell me about the latter part of the plan but suddenly it was his performance time and he was there, curiously in black and clear glasses, handing me corn husks and taking off my shoes. Last week, debriefing on Grace Space and talking about EVERYNONE, we both admit that the personal purging we went through, the giving up of something private, was more significant to us than the bigger public performance that it was for. EVERYNONE is a durational work which opens up the private to the public, opens the work to participation, and opens the public space of an opening.
EVERYNONE is on view through July 11-20. Each of the three E10: Conceptual Art solo exhibitions are open to the public for seven days each. Launching with a Thursday evening opening reception, public hours are offered from noon-6pm the following Friday & Saturday, and then the following week, Wednesday –Saturday, and by appointment.
Quotation form Letters from Linda Montano, 2005
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