Alise Spinella, TUESDAY (Transcribed), Neon Gallery, California State University, Long Beach, September 19, 2010
TUESDAY (Transcribed) took place in the Neon Gallery, a miniature gallery space built by Eamonn Fox within the graduate sculpture studio mazes of CSU Long Beach. Replete with shiny hardwood floors and pristine white walls, Neon Gallery takes up only a few feet of cubic space, with its walls not even high enough to block an average person’s view of the surrounding studio environment. It thus exists at the intersection between studio practice and exhibition space, and since its inception in spring 2010, has acted as a welcome alternative/addendum to the university-sanctioned student exhibitions that take place just one building over.
I was sorry to catch only the last five minutes of this interesting performance by Alise Spinella, who recently received her MFA from Cal Arts. The performance replicated one Tuesday in the life of the artist and consisted of a scripted recitation by Spinella with help from other collaborators. It also incorporated a sculpture made of objects found during the course of that day. The artist stood with her face to a large sheet of blank white drawing paper, speaking at a barely audible level as she recalled thoughts, events, and dreams from the Tuesday in question. At select moments, her collaborators would read lines from a script, evoking a multi-layered inner dialogue. A cluster of about 12 people gathered in the small spaces around the gallery to watch this event unfold. Presently the artist turned away from the paper and declared the performance over, announcing that it had taken 24 minutes to recount a 24-hour day. Visible on the sheet of paper were very faint traces of lipstick where the artist’s mouth had been.
Related to a performance that took place at Cottage Home but conceived of specifically for this space, TUESDAY (Transcribed) left behind intriguing ruminations on the nature of memory and awareness, and the transformations enacted by the shifting of place and scale. The tiny gallery played host to the remains of a day, not just in a tangible form, but also in the faint whispers and lipstick traces of the one who lived it, and a few others who did not. It was not just an evocative performance in its own right, but also an apt inhabitant for the liminal Neon space.
Spinella’s performance was part of some gestures (in the betweens), a live event series curated for Neon by Megan Hoetger. some gestures launched during the opening weekend for GLAMFA 2010 and comes to an end this Sunday with a performance by Book Club, a Long Beach–based performance collective.