It's not often you get to see an artist building a work. It's rarer still to see that same work, finished, a few hours later. And perhaps rarest of all is to look at that finished work and see a part of it that you created.
But all that's possible with 1440 Minutes: An Evening of Installation and Performance Art, taking place Thursday and Friday at the Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Coburn Gallery at Colorado College.
A pool of artists will construct six performance or installation works in a span of 1,440 minutes (or 24 hours), working through the night if they have to. Viewers are welcome to watch the tail end of the marathon, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, leading up to a reception Friday night. Immediately afterward, all the work will be taken down.
The brainchild of curators Jessica Hunter Larsen of the InterDisciplinary Experimental Arts program at CC and Christopher Lynn of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS, 1440 Minutes is the first collaboration between the galleries and the curators. Larsen, inspired by a similar show in California, wanted to curate a show in which the artists had little time to create works that would actively engage the audience.
"It's more like a performance event than an art event, in that sense," she says.
The artists hail from around the region. Some will create their works at CC, others at UCCS. One work actually will be situated on the free shuttle transporting viewers between buildings during the opening.
The works, or the plans for them, anyway, all center around Lynn's theme of social spaces. Colorado Springs artists Jocelyn Nevel and Melanie Grimes teamed up to conceive an idea for a work juxtaposing the realms of private and public relationships. On a wall in the gallery, the artists will construct a timeline wherein viewers can mark milestones in their relationships with family or friends. On the floor will be the beginnings of a large crocheted afghan hub that viewers can then stitch onto.
"These individuals will put their remembrances on the wall and then join into this collaborative community piece," says Nevel, who will be on hand to give lessons.
Like Grimes and Nevel's work, other pieces will require audience participation. One work by the group Goatsilk asks two audience members to sit in a booth with a closed-circuit video camera and try to make one another laugh through the cameras. The first one to make the other laugh wins $5.
"[This show] is great," Nevel says, "because it gets away from the preciousness of the art objects and becomes more of an experience."
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