In Memory of Contemporary Art

Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

In Memory of Contemporary Art was a daily performance project. I put on my white suit, rolled out my little mat, and knelt down on the pavement outside the gallery window: one hour each time, three times a day, five days a week throughout the 3 week exhibition. Inside the enclosed window space:

a traditional Chinese electric candle and wall text in black reading – In Memory of Contemporary Art. During the first week I chose the rhythm of office hours for my meditations. During the second week, natural hours (sun rise, mid-day, sun set). In the third week I slept in front of the gallery window, keep erratic vigil, or meditated there with various artist friends.

This project was associated with a concept of Zen which places great significance on moment-by-moment awareness and seeing deeply into the nature of things by direct experience. Through my actions I considered numerous fundamental relationships concerning time and space, and in particular the notion of contemporary art practice. In Memory of Contemporary Art: ‘In Memory’ is not death, but the eternal. It’s still alive. ‘Contemporary Art’ is about the present. It’s something like a mixture of the turbulent thoughts/actions of the past. Indeed, it makes up and builds up by the past acting on the future in the now-time of art. Because it’s ‘In memory’ it has issues and problems e.g. our masters have used up so many ideas and methods so quickly.

We need to find ways to re-evaluate the circle of everyday actions/life. It’s an awareness.