Detour: Color Commentary by Eleanor LeBeau on Arzu Ozkal #1   05.07.10

Detour Round Table; Photograph by Brandon Juhasz courtesy of

Composed on May 7, 2010 about 10:09 a.m.



When French art critic and curator Nicolas Bourriard famously described a work of art as a dot on a line, what he meant was that a great deal of thought, research, planning and labor precedes the realization of a painting, document or performance. The public only gets to see the dot.  Most of the time, the critic only gets to see the dot. Detour is a rare but much-needed chance for the critic and the public to see the line"and then the dot.

6:20 p.m.

Arzu Ozkal and I were the first participants to arrive at Detours meeting of five artists and five critics. Christopher Lynn, SPACES genial director, introduced us. Arzu had rushed from Oberlin College, where she teaches studio and new media art. I came from a nine-hour shift at my Day Job, headquartered somewhere in Ohio City, which shall remain unnamed for confidentiality reasons. Arzu grabs a beer from the spread of refreshments Chris has laid out for us. I grab an oatmeal cookie (bad girl) to go with the coffee I brought along. Behind us, multidisciplinary artist Bruce Edwards peels a tangerine. I comment on the refreshing smell. Bruce offers me a slice. I eat it, grateful for the gesture. Participants trickle in and soon the rooms abuzz.

8:15 p.m.-ish

Excited by the smart conversation, Im losing track of time. Using their websites as jumping-off points, the five artists brief us on their practices. Im intrigued by all, but most intrigued by Arzus work. The Turkish-born artist uses videos, websites, public interventions and performances to explore the concept of the body (as she puts it) and its relation to social and political discourses. Yes! Shes been reading Michel Foucault and probably the work of Amelia Jones, a prominent scholar of performance art. Yes! Chris asks the artists and writers to pair up. I immediately turn to Arzu. She nods. Im thrilled.

During a break I discover that Arzu has met the subject of my very long masters thesis: James Luna (Luiseño), a performance-installation artist whose body" and its relation to social and political discourses"is a main component of his work []. Arzus eyes brighten when I mention Luna. Hes one of my favorite artists, she says. Arzu met Luna when she was a graduate student at SUNY Buffalo. She had a studio visit with him and, inevitably, he was intrigued by her work.

9:30 p.m.-ish

Were still in the process of choosing the obstacles for each artist. The conversation is electric. Ideas are swirling around the room. Arzu is fairly quiet throughout the process, mainly sitting back and observing. The artists are struggling to impose obstacles on each other. Are we supposed to make each other miserable? someone asks. Well, I wouldnt rule out misery, as long as its not misery for miserys sake, Chris replies.

We come to Arzu. Theres talk about asking her to work in a gallery space, since shes never done that. Her artworks are performances on the streets of  Buffalo, Web sites like A Daily Media Diary of Turkey and videos posted on the Internet. Chris suggests we might ask her to become an insider, since many of her projects deal with her being an outsider. Earlier, Arzu told us that she came to the U.S. as a quasi-Middle-Easterner right after 9/11, and her work began to deal with this identity as a foreigner. Chris also notes that she tends to take a passive role in her public interventions/performances. In Unattended Body (no date available), Arzu sat silent and motionless on black-topped strip-mall parking lots and grassy patches next to bank buildings, her videographer waiting to capture a passerbys confused stare. Her venues are public spaces. Her audience"though often unwitting" is the public.

The group decides. She gets more obstructions than the other artists:

1) Be active

2) Stage something

3) Bring an audience

I feel confident that she can rise to the task. I also feel guilty because I suggested she try more than one. Will she later thank me or curse my name?

10 p.m.-ish
Excited but weary-eyed, Arzu and I agree to email the next day. Tomorrow we both work Day Jobs, but make plans to meet on Friday.

" Eleanor LeBeau

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

links for 2010-05-06   05.06.10

Cleveland Museum of Art launches updated website (
'Bout time!

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Links

links for 2010-05-03   05.03.10

Coming to IFC, a Foodie With a Taste for the Surreal (
"In her surreal excursions on Food Party (whose earliest episodes appear online at, Ms. Tran can be seen enjoying a romantic dinner with a mustachioed French baguette that smokes cigarettes and wears sunglasses; cooking with kitchenware delivered to her by toy helicopters; and breaking into song as she picks doughnuts from a doughnut tree."

"As an undergraduate at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Ms. Tran majored in glasswork. But she specialized in what she called weird psychedelic artificial whatever landscape installations, where hand-blown glass fruits and giant Cheetos grew from the ground, with the scent of car air freshener and the sound of chirping birds wafting throughout."

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Links

#DailyArtDose Round-Up (Catch Up, actually)   05.03.10

#DailyArtDose featured during the week of March 15: Libby Black, Workout Room(installation at SPACES), Paper, Hot Glue, Acrylic Paint, and Mirror 2007; Photography by Jerry Mann

Week of April 19

Green Graffiti (Environmental Graffiti):
Aleesa Cohene:
Tiffany Carbonneau:
Sarah Trouche:
Ross Moreno:

Week of April 12

"Such Tweet Sorrow":
Andrea Joki (SPACELab '08):
Stefan Petranek:
Jamie Banes:
"Dark Matter" curated by Manuel Acevedo (SWAP '07):

Week of April 5

Laura Splan, featured in "Phemomena(l)", '08:
Eli Ping:
Conrad Shawcross:
Sarah McKenzie:

Week of March 28

Iwona Zajac (SWAP '07-'08):
Cindy Kane:
Sasha Huber:
Thu Tran (SPACELab '05):

Week of March 22

Inges Idee - Personal absurdities:
Ethan Shoshan:
Ben Grasso:
"Precious Cargo" at UB Art Gallery:
Migrating Media:

Week of March 15

Gender Check:
Dawn Black:
Libby Black (SWAP '07):
Billie Grace Lynn:
Jeff Chiplis:
Bharti Kher:

Week of March 8

Tomás Saraceno: 14 Billions:
Frances Stark:
Sofi Zezmer:
A Perfect World: Beate Engl:
How Many Billboards?:

Week of March 1

Voguing at the Whitney Biennial:
Jamie Vasta:
Eric Sall:
Come Up to My Room:
La Bolleur Mini Golf:

Week of February 22

Elsewhere Collaborative:
Hasan Elahi: Tracking Transience:
Found Footage Fest:

Week of February 15

Deanna Skedel (SPACELab '94):
Carin Mincemoyer:
Nate Page:

Week of February 8

Harvest Project by Asif Khan:
Scott Goss:
Brent Green:
Australian Experimental Art Foundation's "Gone in No Time":
Polly Apfelbaum:

Week of February 1

David Bowen:
Critical Run:
Russ Revok (SPACELab '97):
Michiel Ceulers:
Ernest Bryant:

Week of January 25

Elaine Gan:
c_m_l: http:
Bear's "Ready, Able", directed by Allison Schulnik:
Diane Archer (SPACELab '95):
Katarina Wong (SWAP '04): @SPACES & now

Week of January 18

Karin Hodgin Jones:
Mustafa Maluka:
Kurt Flecksing:
Imi Hwangbo (SPACELab '97):

Week of January 11

Martha Rosler:
Matthais Dornfeld:
Lesley Vance:
Kim Hiorthøy:

Week of January 4

Sharon Hayes:
Former SPACELab artist Jo Q. Nelson:
Anne Elizabeth Moore:
Floating Lab Collective:
Riitta Ikonen:

Week of January 25

Katarina Wong (SWAP '04): @SPACES & now

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: #DailyArtDose

RESCHEDULED Where Do We Go from Here, Today?
View Calendar

23 RESCHEDULED Where Do We G...

25 (p)SPACE presents FreshPr...

30 What are you Proposing?