Monday, July 27, 2009

Roman Ondák

I was part of "vital role" that participants play in the creation of "Measuring the Universe" (2007), by Slovakian artist Roman Ondák. At MOMA these days attendants mark museum visitors' heights, first names, and date of their measurement on exhibition gallery walls. I've almost never seen people standing in line to become part of an art work. Beginning as an empty white space, the gallery is accumulating the measure of thousands of people.

The inclusion of viewers has a long tradition in performance-based art. Overcoming division between art objects and spectators, people stand in the line to perhaps rediscover the proud feeling they had as children—in the time honored custom — growth marks against a door frame or perhaps to have someone else make their mark in the universe, or perhaps to use part of their "15 Minutes", This artwork addresses gauging the scale of the world. Try it for yourself. If you see, "Susan July 15, 2009" you will know that I, like Kilroy, was there.

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