This fall, Open Space will feature a series of reflections by artists, writers, and curators on “the contemporary.” Today’s piece is by New York–based writer and teacher erica kaufman.
the leaves changed & I didn’t notice: 10 jilted starts
for N.E. and S.W.
1. My initial response to this question of the contemporary was to turn to Gertrude Stein and her sense of the “continuous present.” In “Composition as Explanation,” Stein writes, “the time of the composition is the time of the composition.” The contemporary is the present tense, and so our experience and knowledge is always present tense. But, I feel unsatisfied beginning here, as if it is too easy, not because Stein is easy, but because I always turn to Stein.
2. A first few thoughts on the contemporary: the government shutdown; Dana Yahalomi’s performance work; the Stolpersteine in Berlin; the turkey found wandering around Battery Park; Nicole Eisenman’s sculptures — refiguring figures; ... More