Thursday, 22 April 2010

During the Easter break things took an interesting turn at the museum in my absence. We had placed a podium and invited visitors to make their own mark on this. It was a way of alluding to the idea of the tally mark being used to count in the visitor and playing with the idea of the mark being so banal and un-artistic (for want of a better word) it would posture the question about who is the artist. ( I am writing this very quickly so apologies for the rambling...)

A delightful development occurred when the visitor marks began to creep off the designated podium and onto the actual piece of work. I like to think it was a genuine mistake and misunderstanding but part of me is quite excited by the idea of vandalism. The museum, incidentally were horrified.

The incident gave me so much fodder to think about. It reinforced my original feelings about not creating a finished picture. It raises questions about the heirarchy of work and it's purpose. It blurs the white cube with the interactive museum somehow and breaks down the territory. The scope for discussion is endless and also extremely current.

It also makes me think about the overheard quote so often heard at my exhibitions "a child could do that, though". The marks made by the visitors were dramatically different to mine. The ones I assumed were made by children (because of the height) were not at all similar to mine. A child couldn't do that. Despite my attempts to make a mark of no aesthetic quality, to strip the work of any conventional graphic technique, there appears to be evidence of skill.
Most of the marks were erased by the Museum staff before I saw them but there were residues. I kind of think we should have left them all.

A list of questions/notions arising from working on 'Marking Time'
Marking time is not a performance, it has performative elements
Where am I in the work?Is it an installation, is it work in progress or is it process art?
There is a discussion around the mark. Is it symbol, picture, stamp, signature. How much like a tally mark is it. Is it just a representation of a tally mark?

It is a static mark yet I am keeping it animated, continuously recording. Keeping time in the present.

When I document the work some of the marks can't be seen - it is similar to working with invisible ink, it feeds into the idea of drawing with a left hand. If I had started left to right rather than right to left I would have been erasing my own work. (this is a new line of enquiry, The image to the left is an experiment with a section of text about guache-ness, or lefthandedness in relation to Twombly's work by Barthes. I am currently playing with this.)

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