Yes, ’89 was a good one, and 2009 is going to be full of the unexpected!
This is hilarious. I swear I may need to get my head examined.
For two hours this Wednesday morning, I’ll be in a sound booth at David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea (519 W19 St) with some random guy [update: “random guy” was a fellow obsessive drawer, Will Brovelli*] doing this:
“David Zwirner is pleased to present One Million Years by On Kawara. The ongoing project began with the leather-bound twenty-volume set of books One Million Years [Past] and One Million Years [Future] created by the artist in 1969.
For the artwork, a male and a female reader sit in a recording booth in the center of the gallery and alternate reciting the numbered years collected in these volumes (ahem…4136 pages!). For the first time, a live recording of the reading will happen in real time. CDs will be recorded and edited on-site. The CDs will later be produced in limited edition wooden boxed set.”
Seriously…You can come by and laugh at me. Just don’t make me laugh. I wonder if I will be instructed to read in a monotone voice, and if not, whether I will be able to suppress the temptation to throw in some variation in my recitation, say in an Alvin the Chipmunk or Jimmy Durante voice. It would certainly be a highlight for anyone who actually listened to the CDs! I can see it now: “Fast forward to the track with 495602 BC, where that lady gets all wacky!”
Goal: To find out if obsessive compulsive repetition = art, and why.
*My co-reader Will Brovelli’s work is on view until February 14th at Kim Foster Gallery in a group show called DrawingPainting. Will and I mellifluously intoned the years 967800 BC through 967148 BC, and I don’t feel a day older. In fact, we could have gone on for centuries! We were, in fact instructed to read in a steady, regular speaking voice, although I forgot to ask if that was just for ease of recording or whether those were Kawara’s specific instructions. I’ll see if I can find out…
By the way, NOT TO BE MISSED: The Fred Sandback exhibition at David Zwirner. It’s nothing less than phenomenal.
UPDATE: I was asked to come in and read again, which I did, on January 29th. I think I’ve finally got On Kawara out of my system! New York Magazine has a funny article about critic Jerry Saltz’s experience reading for the same piece.