APROPER ERASURE — DISEMBODIED LABOR
stop motion documentation of the making and erasing of a large wall mural. dimensions: projection 12:50, video 5:00, 11.5 x 44 feet 2012-2013, mixed media on gallery wall, dual channel video installation
I make wall drawings for the audience and prompt them to physically wash away the marks to leave nothing but the trace of it. Make something from nothing and back to nothing, corresponding to Virno’s producing “something from nothing” or “transforming one thing into another” in his book A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life
Mops and spray bottles were supplied as an invitation to activate the drawing. The entire process is documented.
The act of physical erasing suggest a transformative image reduction into dust particles. Then the switch from physical to virtual — the physical labor projected back onto the gallery wall — disembodies the act of erasing itself including the people doing the work. This interrogates the concept of materiality, not only the materiality of the image but the viewers, who are also inseparable part pf the work.
Artist is never fully visible, only a suggestion, a mark, a shadow. What’s the assumed position of the viewer? If the audience does most of the labor, what’s the role of the artist? Who is working for who and why such participation matters? Can participatory art truly follow a democratic idiom?
intensity of the tangible. physical labor.
erase until it’s gone. document. project back.