In WHITE I exclaimed how nice it was nice to put the final touches on the LUV archive in December only 6 months after the ‘official’ closing in July 2020, but three months have now passed and this one particular RED piece resists being finished … perhaps because it’s the only outstanding element on the entire RED site [**a new LUV site was erected on World AIDS Day, December 1 2020. During the 2010 ResArtis general assembly at Tokyo Wonder Site the Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen said something to the effect that ‘artists are concerned with starting things, and their closure is not something the artist must always consider’. In the context of his speech, this notion made perfect sense to me. Perhaps because I was looking for additional justification for moving on from a ten-year pursuit providing safety measures for artists-in-distress to a five-year site-specific endeavor in São Paulo called Lanchonete.org. I don’t make works that a collector can purchase, so the idea of finishing a work isn’t so much about its monetization for me. I suspect however that this ‘knowing when it’s finished’ is common across artistic mediums regardless of their commodity.
A durational work (like those I’ve been a part of) will have an afterlife or ‘post period’. By this I mean that maintenance will be needed for a period of time beyond the ‘official’ 10, 5 or 2-year length of the project. Since the first one–called freeDimensional–I’ve known that a lot can happen after the official- and post-periods. Conversely, this expiration and notion of obsolescence (staying open to being ‘outgrown’, including ‘stepping down’ when there is no linear or clear transition of leadership) is essential for wild, exponential expansion … we just don’t get to know before taking the risk of letting go in which directions it spreads, if at all.
Dates are just dates afterall. December 1 2020–when we launched the new site designed by Paula Nishijima–is one of the most important of the project however. I mention in Bienal Party that my stream of consciousness informs the LUV project. The story of hurt as a level of luv and outlet for pain started there…in that stream of consciousness. To curtail this dominance, we agreed that Paula would view materials on the RED archive site and select those articles that would be repeated on the new group site.
I’m very, very lucky that other artists wanted to join this momentum and hone what had been forged of pain. I can be honest that one of the functions of making this project (for me) was to expel the sort of pain I discuss in BLACK. I went into the project knowing that I’d need to keep a balance between this personal and some more universally applicable value propositions.
And now, LUV is a project that conspires to be set free!
*See HIV-related activities in relation to Lanchonete.org: Arte, Saúde Pública e Estratégias de enfrentamento à Epidemia da Aids and Vidas/corpos com HIV.