Life/Theater: Art In General (NY)
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15 May 2018
By Lee Walton
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Life/Theater: Art In General

Part of the “Experiential Project" the inaugural installment of Art in General’s New Commission program. (2005)

For Life/Theater I transformed the exhibition project space into a sitting area for spectators to watch a series of daily public performances.  These performances involved actors performing everyday unspectacular actions. These actions blurred the line between what was and not real.


How Life/Theater Worked:

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4-5 p.m. a new Life/Theater Performance would take place.

For the designated hour, hired actors would pass by and play out simple activities- such as sipping coffee, awkwardly carrying a house plant, chuckling to oneself, jogging, smoking a cigarette, chatting on cell phone, etc...

These actors would skillfully and seamlessly mix and blur themselves with the real characters of New York City.

The implementation of actors created a blurring of what is real and what is not real.

For the viewer, a heightened awareness of the city space revealed various qualities that are usually overlooked.

Over time, the actors would reveal themselves through exact and precise repetition of each activity.

Through repetition, the identity of each actor was realized. At this point, the focus and attention of the viewer becomes more specific as the subtle activities of the actor become primary interests.

For example, a viewer’s scope may alter from observing the entire unpredictable range of activities of the street scene to the minute details of how a specific man peels a banana while slightly nodding his head in response to an earlier conversation he had with his mother.

Additionally, an edition of 1000 printed and hand wrapped packets of printed cards were distributed to the public. View that project here.

A book was published about the Experiential Project: Amazon


View Press Release

Here are some links:


Jerry Saltz Review

More From Jerry Saltz

Steven Matijcio Talks About Experientialism



Tags: Projects
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