San Keller, Memosan
Next Monday's PSU lecture will not only make your day, but will make your whole week, kicking off a 4-day long workshop/action with visiting artist San Keller. The work of this Swiss artist is smart and funny, with a thoroughly European sensibility. He works with the codes of the public space as well as of the exhibition space, very much in the vein of work by Jeppe Hein, a German artist whose work I saw for the first time on my last visit to Paris.
Much of Keller's installation work as well as the short projects he deems "actions" are enacted within social spaces, goading the viewer (or at times the random passer-by) into an unexpected situation. During his PS1 residency in 2003, Keller accompanied groups of participants to their respective homes, with the understanding that they would provide a light repast upon arrival. In Duett, which was part of an installation in Geneva, two swings were installed so that the piece could only become functional if two people were swinging in tandem. In Wer schläft zuerst? (Who Falls Asleep First?), an empty bed is alongside a video of the artist falling asleep, challenging the viewer to engage in a sleeping contest with the artist. In this theoretical contest, however, either the artist loses the challenge, or else the video art is sufficiently boring to send the viewer into deep slumber.
San Keller, Wer schläft zuerst
Other work confronts the vocabulary of the white box. During an exhibition at Galerie Brigitte Weiss, Keller printed the status of his bank account once per day, selling the piece for the same amount given as his account balance. At the Sharjah Biennial in United Arab Emerites, Keller installed loudspeakers on the outside of the art museum so that daily recitations from the art historical canon could be broadcast like prayers from a mosque. In another work, entitled What Would I Do, If I Failed As an Artist, Keller has created a functional reproduction of a hairdresser's salon; the artist is currently looking for "a big art museum to donate his installation to, under the stipulation that he be allowed to work in the salon if the failed as an artist."
While here in Portland, Keller will initiate Make My Day, a project in which participants propose, realize and document a project in collaboration with Keller.
More details are forthcoming about the workshop, but Keller is looking for participants to propose concepts. All interested parties should show up to Monday night's lecture. [JUST IN: Keller will be at Valentines from 2 - 8pm on Tuesday, May 9. During this time, the public is invited to submit proposals. Keller will choose 16 proposals for a continuous action that will take place over a 48 hour period between Tuesday, May 9 at 8 pm and Thursday, May 11 at 8 pm. Individuals will get a three hour period of time and activities can include just about anything, including the mundane (eating, sleeping, travelling, you get the idea)] Keller will present documentation of the resulting project at Valentines on Friday at 2 pm.
MAKE MY DAY
Participating in the workshop means you decide on what Swiss concept and action artist San Keller will be doing in Portland during the next 24 hours. On the first day each participant will be given three hours for drawing up and presenting a concept. San Keller will then select the best concepts. Afterwards the participants will create a coherent whole out of these single parts. On the second and third day the participants are responsible for realising and documenting their concepts together with San Keller within the given time-frame. Days three and four will be used for collecting and putting together the documentary material.
May 8 — Lecture at PSU
May 9 — Conception, Presentation, Selection
May 10 & 11 — Action
May 12 — Documentation
Lecture • Monday, May 8th • 7 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema • 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Sponsored in part by PICA, PNCA, and Reed College
Proposal/Selection • Tuesday, May 9th • 2 - 8 p
Valentines • 232 SW Ankeny • 503.248.1600
Public talk/presentation • Friday, May 12th • 2 p
Valentines • 232 SW Ankeny • 503.248.1600