Maybe a few of you know of these artists already, seeing that they came to MICA for a talk, but I'm posting this in the hopes that this will be news for some. These two have done a body of work titled Doing Time/Depth of Surface, in which they've tried to preserve the interior of closed prison in Philadelphia by means of large scale monoprints. How they do this is by a technique (similar to one used to preserve frescos) called strappo (literally translating in Italian as "pulled"), in which they apply fabric to the wall with glue, wait for it to dry and pull it off with the top most layer of the wall on the fabric. Another part of the project (that's not shown in the video) is having to do with the prison guard's log books that the artists stumbled upon. In them, there are reports, at fifteen minute intervals, of the status in the prison. Most all lines, with little interruption, say "All appears to be normal". The irony is twofold: That prison life is much less than normal, and that the guards seemed to be "doing time" in the same way as the prisoners. The artists included this discovery as a sound piece in which a former guard read from the book over a six hour period. The show is up at Moore College of Art in Philly, so it's not too far from here if some of you wanted to see their installation in person.
You can read more here:http://www.philagrafika.org/
Simultaneously, Zoe Strauss is exhibiting her decade long project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In it she gives an "epic narrative" or portrait of Philadephia, its related cities and the people who inhabit them. She first launched her project to the public by exhibiting her photographs under Interstate 95, and continuing to do this once a year over a ten year period. In this way, her artistic practice, her subjects and her art fan base mingle.
Read about it/see photos here: http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/745.html