Artist Teresa Albor on making 100 paintings in 24 hours and why she does it
London-based artist Teresa Albor is not-so-subtly interested in turning over the stuffy model of art as a commodity, and her work shows it in projects like "Rufus Stone," which hands over art-making materials and, in turn, the cachet of art-making to non-artists. Then there's "100 Paintings in 24 Hours," which she'll be performing starting at 11 a.m. today at the Counterpath bookstore/gallery/performance space. We asked Albor to explain the work and how and why it unfolds.
See also: Teresa Albor: 100 Paintings in 24 Hours
Westword: What is the genesis of the "100 Paintings in 24 Hours" performance?
Teresa Albor: I am interested in what art is, how and where it is made, and where it is shown. This performance piece plays with many of the tensions of a prevailing conception within the "art world" that art is a repository of value, a commodity that can be sold, a means of revenue for the artist, i.e. his/her "livelihood." The paradigm involves a "white cube" gallery in New York, LA or London where "precious" art made mysteriously in the studio of an artist is sold for prices only the elite can afford to pay. In this case, we are in an independent bookstore, the work is free, and it is produced openly, almost as if in a factory. Cultural production is depicted as an assembly-line process.
In summary: This is "task-oriented" performance art, about labor and art, and the methods and systems of quantity-production.
Do you go into it with a clear idea of what you will paint?
For each performance, I come up with a painting system with rules and a defined set of resources. At Counterpath, the process will involve selecting a black-and-white page from an old art encyclopedia or exhibition catalogue at random, applying a thick coating of ink/paint,and then etching with a plaster rake and/or a fork before the coating can dry completely. In a way, I'm referencing a process from childhood -- coloring with crayons, covering that with a layer of black paint and then etching into it.
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