Monday, March 17, 2008

working title:

So, this is how I wound up here on Sunday, March 16, from, roughly, 11 a.m. till 6 p.m.:

Last spring I met artist/curator Jacob Robichaux in Houston. Before I came up to NY, I told Jacob I was coming through and he told me he had a show up at Museum 52 on Rivington: ...bell, string, whistle, cube...

After seeing the show, a series of assemblages and wall pieces, I emailed him and said, Hey, congrats! So he emailed back and asked me to do a performance there.

Huh? I've done a lot of things, but performance isn't really one of them. I envisioned someone in a leotard doing interpretive dance with one of the objects in the installation. I cringed. But I went ahead and said yes, since no one would know me, anyway.

I borrowed the cruddy card table and chair from the apartment I'm subletting, found a manual typewriter in a weird shoe store on E. 72nd St., bought a kitchen timer and a pile of paper and set up shop. The performer was required to select one of the four black envelopes at the entrance of the installation; I got number three:

These were the objects from the assemblage, above. Using the various objects (twine ball, fabric, ring, box, book, painted sticks, bag), I went to work. After five minutes of writing about one or a combination of the objects, I'd crumple and toss my work.

The response, I noted, varied: most of the people who came in or went by clearly thought I was the gallerina, although I couldn't figure out why they would think that the gallery was so cheap that they couldn't afford at least an electric typewriter. Others came in and, noting the frustrated nature of my tossed off pages, asked if I was ok. My favorite response, however, was with the neighborhood kids--I noticed, after a while, that they were clapping and pointing every time I threw a sheet of paper. Look! She just threw one!

I'm gonna go out and buy those kids a TV. They're obviously desperate for entertainment.

The result? 54 vignettes, some interesting; many, predictably, not, beginning with the words "working title". I was ready to throw that fucking typewriter through the window after an hour, though. How did secretaries in the 1950's do it?