the act or procedure of liquefying or melting by the application of
heat...the merging of different elements into a union...nuclei combine to
form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy ...
I agree that technology opens up new possibilities to us but I think that finally what we are dealing with is what we were always dealing with, namely, mind.
For thirteen days,
from September 17-29, 2001, an experimental artistic collaboration will
take place at 450 Broadway Gallery, New York. Thirteen visual artists have
been invited to successively add artwork to an exhibition as to an emerging
entity. The artists have agreed to act in response to what they will find
at the gallery on the dates they are individually scheduled to have control
of the space. The work will have passed through the hands of all
participants (and artists they invite) before it reaches its final stage.
The public is invited to attend during gallery hours as well as at two
This exhibition was
organized by artists Elisabeth Condon (New York) and Adelheid
Mers(Chicago), who previously have jointly as well as separately initiated
similar projects in London, Chicago and New York. Structured to maximize
prospects within the constraints of time and space available to it, this
project gains its specific flavor from the particular artists who will join
promises to be a fun, playful event arose from the sincere desire to face
the ongoing shift from the historically individualistic role of the artist
to more recent and relational endeavors, a scattered debate evolved out of
diverse premises that results in conflicting views held by various artists,
curators, administrators, critics and audiences.
approaches reality as an ongoing joint creation through narrative. It
mirrors complexity with collaboration. Issues of shared authorship, the
ethics of cooperation, and the dissemination and incorporation of thought,
so clearly embodied in digital media and so often explored in the context
of those media, are explored in a decidedly low-tech manner. We contend
what needs to be addressed is our understanding of those issues, which may
be reflected in any medium.
artists are: David Brody (9/20)
(9/17) Annette Cords (9/21)
(9/25) Norma Markley (9/19)
Mery Lynn McCorkle
(9/22) Paul Moran (9/28)
Eung Ho Park (9/29)
Carolanna Parlato (9/23)
(9/27) Ray Rapp (9/24)
Sheila Ross (9/18)
Amy Yoes (9/26)
These artists are
free to invite others, who so far include John Corbin, Debra Jenks,
Madeline Hatz, Wendy Hirschberg and Linda Nagaoka, Marilla Palmer, Marieken
Cochius, Jeanne Tremel, Mary Magsamen and Suzan Batu, Woo Song Bong, Susan
Breitsch, Rick Briggs, Frances Chapman, Philip Cheung, Byung Wang Cho,
Peter Coe, Elise Engler, Lee Etheledge IV, Jane Fine, Julie Evans, Matt
Freedman, Peter Gallo, Betsey Garand, Brenda Garand, Daniel Georges, Nancy
Goldenberg, Yun Fei Ji, iL Lee, Ian Laughlin, Soo Im Lee, Robin Michals,
Katherine Powers, Lance Richbourg, Carol Saft, Han Sam Son, Rumiko Tsuda,
Tammy Wofsey, Rachel Youens, Charles Yuen and Alexandra Zevin
appeals to me in this project is being asked to think and work outside of
the usual parameters I set for myself. Working by myself in the studio on
work that is the direct result of my thinking and doing, I am looking
forward to having no idea what to expect and seeing myself react to that. I
expect to bring similar aesthetic and conceptual questions to this project
as I do to my work in the studio but, because the context is so different,
I am interested to see whether these questions will lead to some very
different results. I am also interested in taking part in an artwork that
is the result of the successive and aggregated efforts of many. I like the
idea that the total work will have passed through the hands of numerous
artists before it reaches its final stage. At this point I don't have a
specific idea of what I will do. There are some ideas and images that pass
through my mind as I think of the project, but more than anything else I
feel a sense of positive curiosity.
Lord of the
Flies by William Golding, filmed by Peter Brooks in 1961, came to mind when
I thought about the concept of collaboration. It is an extreme example. For
here is the exploration of the inherent defects of society and man. The
emergence of his concealed, basic wildness is the theme. I feel the act of
collaboration can have both positive and negative aspects and this is what
I am interested in. Collaboration can be a test situation in a joint
adventure, its aim to be turned on and go all out in a free and relentless
expression with others while still exploring one's sense of
I have chosen 4
artists to collaborate with, within the larger collaboration project--John
Corbin, Madeline Hatz, Wendy Hirschberg and Debra Jenks. I chose them
because of their sense of individuality and to test my ability to work with
others. I have introduced the theme of games, influenced by the games seen
at the Italian street fair, but will not persuade anyone to join in.
When I have
collaborated in the past, I have found myself taking on new challenges and
going down a road I would not have necessarily chosen for myself.
Immediately, I resist being directed. In my art life, I experience a strong
desire to do exactly what I want to do, without the constraints of
others needs and desires. So, collaboration requires breaking a
pattern set from childhood, when all this got started for me. I assume for
many artists collaboration represents something like this--an invasion of
privacy for some or interference on some level. And that tension interests
me. Norma's idea about games at the Italian street fair also sounds
intriguing - so we will all play (and resist) on September 19th.
for the Fusion Project is fueled by an interest in the unique affinities
and parallels inevitably discovered in a collaborative effort.
I am intrigued by
this proposal where the ultimate configuration of individual parts may not
be fixed by one artist, but left open and determined by accumulation. In
this format, it seems possible that the artist, like audiences generally,
becomes simultaneously spectator and participant.
nature of this interaction will also call for a spontaneous working method.
And this condition, less self-conscious and controlled than one's own
studio, is part of the Fusion Project's appeal.
As an artist
who works primarily alone in a studio practice consisting mainly of
sculpture, installation and works on paper, the idea of collaborating with
other artists is an appealing challenge for several reasons. In my mind,
two main tenets of this challenge are the notion of collaboration and the
ephemerality. Foremost, it is an opportunity to enter into an exchange and
dialogue with other artists, to respond to their efforts and have them
respond to your work. This very direct and immediate response to each
other's work is both collaborative and an intervention. I mean
"intervention" in a proactive way, rather than having a negative
At the very least,
it is interesting to see how others respond to or have a dialogue with your
work in a very primal, direct way. Artists spend a lot of time looking and
talking about other artist's work, but this project allows for the
participants/collaborators to have a different kind of visceral, non verbal
response to the work. Also, I have exhibited with some of the participants
before, so it is yet another and different way to engage with their work.
The very nature of
this collaboration is ephemeral. Each artist will have a day to work and
transform the space over the course of two weeks. Each day the piece will
be transformed and changed, with chance and randomness coming into play.
The work of the other artists dictates in part what your response might be.
Another artist's effort might provide you with an opportunity to respond in
a way that might not usually be considered or available to you. At the end
of the exhibition, the work will be dismantled or destroyed, impossible to
recreate even a semblance to the initial effort ever again. I think that
it allows both great freedom to each participant yet also a heightened
sense of responsibility to the efforts of the other participants.
to have connotations of agreement, partnership and harmony. So, a question
that might arise is how do you respond and engage with another
participant's work and maintain this harmony or this agreement? What is
the line between collaboration and intervention? I also explore
ephemerality in my own work, mostly in the materials that I use, including
masking tape, cardboard boxes, Styrofoam, "dollar store" items
such as glitter, confetti, party favour toys etc. I use these materials in
ways that are defined by and also defy their ephemerality. This
collaboration allows me a chance to reexamine issues of ephemerality and
permanence and in my work.
i am nomadic,
belonging nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This is often reflected
in my texts. Below are a few samples. The nomad is an itinerant individual,
staking only temporary territory or sharing territory. I see collaboration
in this light. The word literally means working together. For this we might
need to define an aim?
A caution tape
border encircles a migrating studio: Here I am, we are, working away,
making a mess of mortar crumbs. Working: painting and bricklaying as if
temporarily at home here. Are we all nomadic neighbors, spreading out our
rhisomatic mushroom roots?
May 9, 2001
Site 1: Present in
When I arrived in
Leeuwarden in September, the City Hall Courtyard was a newly constructed
place of minimalist design: yellow facade with red tiles, a square with
grey gravel, and within this a second tilted square with white gravel.
Here I staked out a territory, which was perpendicular to this place both
literally and conceptually. Following the tilted line between white and
grey, I erected ruined brick walls. The facade of the ruins has the same
red tiles as the facade of the Stadskantoor (City Hall), but a filling a
luminous blue mortar crumbs are oozing out of the double brick layers. The
work was done in the first two weeks of September. I got a couple of
containers full of used bricks, and a group of convicts as workers. The
courtyard became my studio, an intense place. We worked, sweated, yelled,
laughed. I ran from corner to corner of this huge stage, instructing and
working. The scene was at all times watched from one or other of the
hundreds of office windows: Young men in work clothes,
Moroccan/Suriname/Friesan, many using tools and working for the
first time in their lives. We were laying bricks, erecting walls which
could not possibly amount to a house, a structure. A Situation had taken
over the place. Now the convicts and I have left, but a passer by
venturing into the courtyard will find a space: a place turned around.
Site 2: Lament in
Be in the
world like a stranger, a passer by. (Hadith 13th century) The
man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner: he to whom
every soil is as his native one is already strong: but he is perfect to
whom the entire world is exile. (Hugh of St Victor, 13th century)
These two quotes,
the first by a Muslim, the second a Christian were translated into Friesan:
Wes yne de wrald als in frjemdling, in foarbygonger.
(Hadith 12e eeuw) De man dyt syn thuslan leavet, is noch in
foech begjinneling, hy foar wat eltse oarde is as wie it syn
bertegrun, is al sterk; mar folmakke is hy dyt him oeral yne
balling wit.(Hugh de St Victoire 12e eeuw)
I inscribed these
words inside the Grote Kerk (The Great Church), directly on the wall,
outlining the arch of an alcove. At the bottom of the alcove, on the stone
floor, I placed a row of yellow brick rubble with blue mortar crumbs. A
shallow space was thus defined, a sort of flat open chamber, with its own
echo. This room was to shelter my painting, a pieta. It is a large oil on
linen work, based on The Lamentation, by the Italian baroque
painter Ludovico Carracci. The painting is a sort of translation or
interpretation, like playing from ancient notes, or translating an ancient
text fragment. It is based on a picture, which in turn maybe served as a
projection screen for Ludovico in the early 1500. Great themes in art
history and religion become places to visit.
Outside, there are
some small niches in the brick facade of the church. If you peek up into
them, you see a leak from both Stadskantoor (City Hall) and
Grote Kerk ( Great Church): some luminous blue mortar crumbs. I am present
in Brokken Land. Brokken* in Dutch means a piece. A piece is something
whole, but it is also something broken off, something belonging, yet no
longer belonging. A passerby? Belonging? Belangen?
October 4, 2000
belangen has the same root as the English belong.
They both stem from the German Die belange. Brokken in Dutch
is also a certain kind of big square cookie, the kind used for building the
witchs cookie house in the Story of Hansel and Gretel.
more: florencelynchgallery.com and public-interests.com/hatz
great thing about collaboration, and about the Fusion project in
particular, is the sense of suspense and excitement about what the other
artists may do, and the challenge of reacting to what they produce. This
way of working takes me out of my normal art making processes, and
engenders a specific, wonderful flavor of freedom. The issue of authorship
is refreshingly diminished. It's like going on a trip with new friends to
an unknown destination, and knowing that, whatever happens, it will be a