artists & participants
Spring Wound Opening Sunday April 27, 6-8:30 with performances beginning at 7:30 by Josiah McElheny and Anthony McCall.
7:30 pm Josiah McElheny will premiere his adaptation of Paul Scheerbart’s 1912 story, “The Light Club of Batavia.” McElheny’s six-character script, Das Lichtklub von Batavia/The Light Club of Batavia, will be read in German and English by Christoph Gerozissis, Janice Guy, John Miller, Klaus Ottmann, Claudia Steinberg, and Gregory Volk.
8:00 Anthony McCall, Five-Minute Drawing (1974-08) Live Performance
Please note: visitors will not be able to enter the gallery after performances have begun. SPRING WOUND: Works by Andrea Fraser, Nicolás Guagnini, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny, Jeff Preiss, Moyra Davey, Barney Simon and Isaac Preiss
Spring Wound opened on Sunday, April 27th at 6:00 pm with two performances: Josiah McElheny presented a performance reading of Das Lichtklub von Batavia-The Light Club of Batavia based on Der Lichtklub von Batavia, by Paul Scheerbart, published in 1912 in Die Kritische Tribüne (vol. 1 / issue 1). Performers included Christoph Gerozissis, Janice Guy, John Miller, Claus Ottman, Claudia Steinberg and Gregory Volk.
Anthony McCall’s Five-Minute Drawing was originally performed on June 20, 1974 at Art Meeting Place in London as part of an evening of five-minute presentations by artists, writers and composers. It relates to his interest in durational structures found in his solid light film installations, fire performances, and in particular to his large-scale 1974 drawing “Two Pencil Durations,” and to “Two-Minute Drawing” performed at Jean Dupuy’s now legendary “Soup and Tart” event at the Kitchen on November 30, 1974.
Spring Wound is based on five collaborations produced at Orchard by Jeff Preiss with Andrea Fraser, Nicolás Guagnini, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny and Moyra Davey.
Andrea Fraser: Orchard Document: May I Help You? (text 1991) 2005, (16mm to DVD, continuous loop) Orchard revisited May I Help You?, now sixteen years old, for its inaugural exhibition. Fraser herself performed the piece every day for one week, introducing one type of relationship Orchard’s program draws upon: the connection between prior moments of critique and politicization in the art world and its contemporary conditions. Preiss filmed Fraser’s performance over the course of several days in 16mm. In their new film, Preiss and Fraser have situated May I Help You? within Orchard’s examination of current conditions of exhibition and distribution.
Nicolás Guagnini: Discharge, 2005/06, (16mm to DVD, 9 minutes) "Satisfied genital object love is thus the most powerful opponent of the destructive drive of pregenital masochism, of yearning for the womb, and of the punitive super-ego. This superiority of sexuality over the destructive drive is the justification of our therapeutic efforts." From "Genitality in The Theory and Therapy of Neurosis" by Wilhelm Reich, translated from the German "Die Funktion des Orgasmus", first published in 1927.
Anthony McCall: Five-minute Drawing: Orchard Document, April 27, 2008. First realized at Art Meeting Place, London, on June 18, 1974. 2008 (Video, shot during the performance at Orchard, 5 minutes).
Josiah McElheny, Light Club, 2008 (16mm to DVD, 75 minutes). In McElheny and Preiss’s video, Light Club, footage of McElheny’s sculpture taken with Preiss’s signature ‘spring-wound’ technique (a panning/rotating shot), creates the image of cascading glass—a repeated descent into light and darkness. Inspired by a variety of earlier film experiments, not least Stan Brakhage’s iconic The Text of Light (1974), the video is over one hour long, with voiceover readings of texts from McElheny’s book by Martin Beck, Andrea Geyer, Ulrike Müller, and Barbara Schroeder.
Moyra Davey, Isaac Preiss and Barney Simon: High School Am Over/Gin Crash 2008 (YouTube, 10 minutes). Preiss and Davey invited their respective children to create a video response to Davey’s Calandar of flowers, gin bottles, steak bones exhibition. Isaac Preiss and Barney Simon’s video response turned out to be a prepubescent fantasy of inebriation in the context of an art exhibition.
Within this grouping of collaborative work is a new film by Jeff Preiss: Spring Wound (in progress), 2005-2008 (16mm to DVD, 75 minutes). Filmed over the course of Orchard's three-year program, Spring-Wound’s subject and organizing principle is the collision between cinema's claim to be a virtual memory and the limitations of its mechanism. A series of panning shots reverse direction resulting in alternative “cuts” that appear as mechanized bounces, rendering ambiguous the real-time length of each shot, casting doubt on the power of the filmic mechanism to represent the edge of the visual field, and punning the necessity of the mechanism to be recharged in order to operate, like a wind-up toy.
Also on view during the exhibition: The premiere of a slide work by Anthony McCall entitled Slit-Scan, (Eighty-one 35 mm colors slides, carousel projector) conceived, produced and completed in 1972 but never before exhibited. Slit-Scan is built from a single vertical photograph which is systematically divided into horizontal slivers, distributed across the 81 slides and presented as a visual glissando.
In the window box, constructed of colored glass modules stacked and mortared, Model for a Film Set (The Light Spa at the Bottom of a Mine) is McElheny’s abstract envisioning of the monstrous architectural installation described in Scheerbart’s tale. Displayed in Orchard’s front window, it continues the gallery’s tradition of referencing the original commercial/display history of the space. As part of the exhibition, Josiah McElheny will release and offer for sale ($20) his new artist book, The Light Club of Batavia. This book includes texts, translations and reinterpretations of a 1912 story by German fabulist Paul Scheerbart. Currently Scheerbart is most often remembered in relation to his collaboration with architect Bruno Taut for the Werkbund exhibition in 1914, but his revolutionary ideas about utopian politics were widely influential among prominent theorists, for example Walter Benjamin. In addition to reproducing texts by Scheerbart’s and Georg Hecht in facsimile, McElheny has commissioned and edited the first English translation of these texts by Wilhelm Werthern and Brian Currid, and Barbara Schroeder, respectively. Critical reinterpretations of the story, in the form of a poem, play and short story, are by Ulrike Müller and Gregg Bordowitz, Andrea Geyer, Josiah McElheny.
On going works at Orchard in the bathroom and at the sink: Nicolás Guagnini and Jeff Preiss, SSS (Surge, Shit, Sargeant), 2007, photograph and DVD.
Judith Barry, Untitled (Solo at the sink/So low at the sink), 1975 from the series: How visual does an art work have to be to be an art work? 1974 -1982; cassette from a live performance, 1974, installed to be. activated by turning on the sink.
Performances mit Andrea Fraser, Nicolas Guagnini, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny, Jeff Preiss, Moyra Davey, Barney Simon, Isaac Preiss