Encounter

A meeting with the art.

There is the event, what occurs after, and what will be remembered; what is in the frame and what beyond it, who stands beholding, and what presents itself, as composition.  The artist tries presenting Time as concrete. For example, here’s a calendar and it can repeat endlessly without naming the century. Following these questions out, and out, and out, she creates a dizzying array of images, depicting a history. The effect is a sense of overwhelm, a sense of being tiny by comparison, crushed by the scope and depth of it all. Some will retreat immediately. For those that remain, there are other effects to come, and one of these is a certain euphoria of spirit, suddenly released from certain presumptions about its individual weight.

***

Inspired by the work of Hanne Darboven.

The Making of History

With Hanne Darboven.

You could start by listing major events, key figures, compare best-of lists across the decades. But this has been done enough. What would happen if you omitted accepted distinctions between important and trivial, if you omitted the idea of progress itself?

You could try writing without an alphabet, using only numbers. These are democratic, unfettered by the weight of the ideologies of domination. With numbers, you can celebrate a belief in permutations.

Try it like this: fill room after room floor to ceiling with tiny panels: postcards, city views, tourist sites, greeting cards, illustrations from children’s books, photographs of artworks, of artists, of unnamed people. Present constellations of images instead of a neat line.

There will be no way to summarize what it is. What will matter about it will have to do with what happens between the images you present.

What happens?

Something breathes. It isn’t progress.

***

Inspired by Hanne Darboven’s “Kulturegeschichte 1880–1983” (“Cultural History 1880–1983”).