NOT NECESSARILY

1986

The museum space was dominated by a scaffolding structure like a small building without walls within which four apartments were distinguished. In each area persons performed repetitive tasks: Preparing Food, Watching TV, Polishing Silver, Carpentry, Dyeing Eggs, Engine Mechanics, Practicing Guitar, Laundry, Computer Programming, Looking at Old Photographs, and so on. Changing groups of four activities were performed on eight consecutive Fridays in the museum. Meanwhile Clark, dressed as a gardener, raised seedlings under fluorescent plant lamps beneath the scaffolding and a performer in a security guard's uniform documented the piece with still and video cameras. This documentation accumulated as the installation progressed: the still photographs were added to the gallery walls and the video footage was incorporated into the tapes that played continuously on several monitors built into the structure. Each week the four cubicles were completely emptied and rebuilt to suit the activities the next week's performers had chosen. While Fridays were the occasion for all-day performances, the changing structure and ongoing documentation functioned as a large installation on other days of the week. This work, whose long title was "Things of a Repetitive Nature Are Not Necessarily Trivial Pursuits," valorized the quotidian yet productive labor of these tasks and hobbies, while the two figures of "the gardener and the guard" represented two social stances - of nurturing and surveillance - toward such activities.

 

INSTALLATION/PERFORMANCE

Views 86, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, WI

 

DOCUMENTATION

Exhibition of Recent Work, Art Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

New Works, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, WIL

 

CATALOGUE

Views 86

 

PRESS

Art faculty exhibits wide range of works, Daily Cardinal

Laurie Beth Clark: Not Necessarily, High Performance

Not Necessarily exhibit a mover, Wisconsin State Journal

Living Display, Wisconsin State Journal

Photo, Annual Report, Elvehjem Museum of Art

Photo, Interaction, University of Wisconsin Consortium for the Arts

Photo, University of Wisconsin Art Department Newsletter

Photo, University of Wisconsin Instructional Resources Handbook

Photo, University of Wisconsin School of Education Newsletter

Where's the Fire?, Isthmuser

 

RADIO

Sunday Afternoon Live from the Elvehjem, WHA-FM

 

PRINCIPAL COLLABORATORS

Technical Support from Matthew Konicek

 

AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Video, 6 Minutes

Reviews

Slide Lecture

Exhibition of B&W Photographs and Artifacts

 

 

REVIEWS

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©Laurie Beth Clark 2017  |  lbclark@wisc.edu