Monday, April 25, 2011

Emese Benczur

Emese Benczúr, Should I live to be a Hundred, 1988- (ongoing). Cotton.

'A similarly nuanced relationship to time is evident in Emese Benczúr's work Should I Live to Be a Hundred: in 1998 she ordered thirty-eight rolls of clothing labels machine-embroidered with the words "day by day". She then commenced sewing below this inscription the words "I think about the future", pledging to repeat the sewing of this phrase each day for the rest of her life. There are, of course, major precedents and inspirations: On Kawara's Today series, Roman Opałka's 1965/1 -  series, for example. Artists working in this way share a certain quality of integration with everyday currents, an integrative atemporality - quiet, slow, unobtrusive yet committed, insistent, and independent - that is the ground zero of the ways in which contemporary artists approach the strangeness of their time.'

(from Terry Smith, What is Contemporary Art?, Chapter 11, 'Taking Time...')