utopias’ paper

Here, Now: Dispatches from Utopia is a continuation of a previous artwork I created in my first visit to Bulgaria in 2011:

Utopias In-Progress was a site-specific embodied writing performance/single channel video/installation/participatory art piece created at The Red House Centre for Art and Debate in Sofia. The piece was created around an essay about the effects of colonialism and globalization on the arts, the history of artistic revolt, and the possibility of creating autonomous art spheres.

Over the course of three days, I re-wrote the essay with dry media on a large paper (1.31 x 15 meters), and used a body-mounted camera to record the writing process. The video was then incorporated into an installation that also included the roll of paper.

The Utopias scroll was installed in the gallery and functioned as both a site of interaction and an object of exchange with the audience. Prompted by narratives told intimately by Bulgarian young women performers (Post-Coitus), visitors were invited to write/draw on the paper.

On the last days of the exhibition, visitors were offered to take sections of the scroll by entering into a contract with me. The contract stipulated that they may only share the artwork non-commercially, meaning without making any profit from the piece of the artwork they took.

Some sections of the scroll from this project – this temporary enactment of a utopian relationship with the art audience – have been kept in my own archives until now. I will use this paper, cut to smaller sizes, as the canvas and background of this new iteration of Utopias.

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