Sunday, April 4, 2010


Throughout the week in New York
the notion of remembering the past
as a way of moving forward
was a recurring idea that permeated our collective experiences.
Whether it was viewing the Panorama of the five boroughs
created for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens
or understanding the importance of sampling
in the process of Reenactment in the 2010 Whitney Biennial
it became very apparent that the idiosyncratic nature of our
voyage was greatly informed by the years
of art making that preceded it.
While it was reassuring to note that we have not
divorced ourselves completely from the art that makes
up our collective history, my experience of Art
(with a capital A)
during the trip made me question the role of archiving
and recollection.
While I don't believe that contemporary artists have
run out of novel things to say--
why do so many of them resort to recreating the
paramount projects of the past
as if nostalgic middle-aged housewives
reminiscing upon their halcyon years?

Has the art world out-shocked itself?

And yet, how is it that the Marina Abramovic retrospective
removed from its contextual space in time
is still effective at making one's passage through
a couple of naked bodies uncomfortable?
More specifically, while pictures add to the
source of our collective memory
there is a certain artifice that exists
in the pictorial tradition
that fails to capture the essence of a shared moment
and thus, creates a specific unilateral memory of the past.
All this to say, with such a rich landscape of past
art movements, happenings, moments of genius,
I wonder what has fallen by the way side
and what would have remained if the gatekeepers to this art
had themselves been different?
Thus, as we assemble Ourchive
I add merely a glimpse of an exceptional trip
that far exceeded my expectations of "immersion"
and only worked to solidify my love for New York.
The following is a video focusing on the gestural exchanges
that occurred throughout the trip
By obscuring most of the identifying features of the people we met
and juxtaposing subway strangers and NYC elite alongside
Stanford students
I hope to offer a portrait of a city that is at once diverse and common
stripped of language and context
a certain humanity persists in palms and fingertips.

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