"For a Long Time" at Roberts & Tilton - Art Scene (July/August 2011)
“For a Long Time…” is a collection of works - from Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, Hamish Fulton, Whitney Hubbs, Erica Love, Raymond Pettibon and Kehinde Wiley - which focuses on duration and the physicality endured in performance, and non-performance art works. A video work by Wiley assembles men in one quadrant of a television monitor, staring into the lens of the camera for over an hour. While they try to remain still and focused, their blinking momentarily interrupts the trance and reminds us that they are in fact moving. “Smile” captures the moment that each subject contorts his face into an artificial smile while remaining stationary and growing restless.
In “Remote Control” a static camera is focused on Erica Love’s hand as it hovers in front of Barbara Kruger’s book “Control.” Over time her hand spasms and shows signs of collapsing, but Love maintains Krueger’s characteristic ethos in her body and manages to remain in “control” of her appendage.
The psychology and the physicality of participating in art are demonstrated in a photograph of Marina Abramovic’s performance “Rhythm 10,” where the artist laid out a set of knives on a stage and run each knife in between her outstretched hand. Each time she struck herself, a new knife was picked up and the process was repeated. Abramovic’s performance evokes to a detachment one feels when engaging in repetitive and trying acts. Despite the bodily pain endured and risk confronted during the performance, “Rhythm 10” is a reminder that the artist must remain vigilant and patient when confronting an art piece with an uncertain duration.
Main Image: Raymond Pettibon Every Apology, 1989 Watercolor on paper 16.5 x 15 in (41.9 x 38.1 cm)