Detour: Color Commentator Eleanor LeBeau on Artist Arzu Ozkal #3   05.11.10

Lygia Clark, Sensory Masks, 1967


05.08.10: Composed throughout the day

9:29 a.m.
I email James Luna, who lives in SoCal. HELP! Please send advice about my upcoming performance score/script and possible live performance. [Addendum 05.11.10: Did you notice how fear prevented me from seeing beyond my own navel? And, most importantly, Im not focusing on Arzus process. Pedagogical moment # 17.]

9:54 a.m.
As promised, Arzu sends her morning email:

Good morning!

I got some rope yesterday; will try a few things today. Will let you know how it goes. :)


10:12 a.m.
I email Arzu to ask what she intends to do with the rope.

11:47 a.m.
Arzu responds by email:

Hi Eleanor,

Lygia Clark's performance is an inspiration: Lygia Clark "Propositions," 1966-1968.

Will write more tonight.

12:27 p.m.
Luna responds. The minimalist, as always, but right on point:


The moment you stand up and turn to the audience you are performing.
Communication can take many forms if you are not a public speaker. You can prerecord your statement, you can write it out, you can hand out notes or pass one around. Whisper to each one: Don't do Bob, Bob did it.....
Think about how you would like to be communicated to.

Be yourself.

I have no idea as to subject. That is between you and the artist.

Mr. Luna

Lygia Clark, The I and the You: Clothing/Body'Clothing, 1967

11:52 p.m.
All day Ive been wondering how the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920-1988) might influence Love At First Si/ght/te. Above you will find image-pathways that lead to some of Clarks ideas. (Do you mind if I call her Lygia?) The trajectory of Lygias oeuvre in one sentence: She transitioned from Constructivist painting to sculpture to relational art (for lack of a better word) and finally to what has been called therapy.

She is not a household name in the U.S. (how many female visual artists are?), but very much respected in the art world. Maybe Lygia is not well known because her entire oeuvre thwarts fetishization of the object and thus presents major curatorial challenges. She attempted to escape both the notion of artist as genius, and the supremacy granted to the object which implicitly forces the viewer into a role of passive contemplation, Juan Vincente Aliaga notes in a 1998 issue of frieze.

After 1965, she labeled all of her works propositions: a set of rules created by the artist, using easy-to-find props, that are activated (or made) by others. The propositions only exist in the now and cannot be documented or sold or exhibited post-activation. You should also know that many of Lygias propositions emphasize non-visual experience (auditory, kinetic, haptic, olfactory) and attempt to collapse the mind/body duality. Said another way, the maker of a proposition may have an experience that compels him/her to reconsider the way s/hes been taught to think about the body/self. I dont know for sure. Ive never made a proposition. Im only imagining. Indeed, Lygia, like Arzu, is binary terrorist who collapses dichotomies: mind/body; intellect/senses; objective/subjective; author/spectator; object/spectator and so on.

What does Arzu plan to do with the rope and elastic bands? Is she using other props that shes not telling me about? Lygias propositions require the makers to wear plastic boiler suits and Mobius-strip handcuffs.

Is Arzus last email a proposition for you and me, the spectators? Shes set some parameters (or rules)"the performances title and Lygia Clark, for example"and now I use what I think I know so far about Love At First Si/ght/te to produce color commentary about Arzus artistic process.

Am I not making my own Love At First Si/ght/te?

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General


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