Art by Telephone (for Lovers)

performance, summer 2019

Art by Telephone (for Lovers) functions as an exploration into the purpose of performance and theatrics in “fine” art as a way of making art accessible and the gallery a welcoming space. Several elements of the performance, staged as a series of activities by willing participants, are drawn from the 1997 publication Do It by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Independent Curators Incorporated. Under the overarching theme of replicating Jan Van der Marck’s Art by Telephone (1969) in a single space with a lover’s telephone, participants re-performed pieces by Erwin Wurm, Yoko Ono, Maria Eichhorn, and partook in several new ones created for the opening itself, at the request of the artist through the lover’s telephone.

Generally, the objective of the performance was to investigate the nature of art as play, how games with few rules function in a normally strict space of an institution, and how the gallery can be deterritorialized as a neo-fluxus space.

pictured above: lover’s telephone, instant photos of participants performing False/Right, Right/False (orig. Erwin Wurm, 1996)

pictured left: participants created objects that read “I have no interest in making objects.” participants took photos of up to three things found in the gallery that they would not categorize as art, then attached them to the gallery wall.

above: Yoko Ono’s Painting to be Stepped On, 1961, recreated. Also, the wall on which objects created during the evening were displayed.