In 1919 Marcel Duchamp created a wedding gift in the form of instructions to be carried out by his sister and new brother-in-law. His gift, titled Unhappy Readymade, anticipated a shift in the way we understand the role of the artist. By imagining the artist not only as maker, but simultaneously as catalyst, agitator, or facilitator, a new precedent for the artistic act was established — and with it, new questions about the nature of both making art and teaching art to others. How can art take educational forms? Is teaching itself an artistic act?
I curated Unhappy Readymade with Jessica Hamlin. The exhibition, hosted by the Commons Gallery in New York City, opened without any art objects. Instead artists and teachers submitted instructions for making art, which we displayed on the walls of the gallery. We invited visitors to read, interpret and enact the instructions, and make and display their own art with materials provided in the gallery space.
By the Book
By the Book is my exploration of how artists create, follow and stretch rules to enhance their creative processes.
I hand-stitched and bound a five foot by two foot sketchbook in which I planned to make one hundred drawings over the course of five days. By following this one rule, I moved past doubts and stumbling blocks toward consistent working habits and an unexpected set of images. During one afternoon I found myself making an informal catalog of my folded laundry and during another, I spent time simply observing a solar engine in motion.
“By the Book” was the thesis project for my masters degree at NYU. It was on view at the Commons Gallery in NYC in May 2012.
Documentation of my undergraduate thesis photography and subsequent exhibition. (Winter 2007)