Untitled Performance at Max's Kansas City, NYC

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Photo: Rosemary Mayer

Adrian Piper

Untitled Performance at Max's Kansas City, NYC, 1970

Documentation of the performance 4 black-and-white photographs, silver gelatin on baryta paper (prints approx. 1998) 41 x 41 cm each, framed 50 x 51.7 cm each


Artwork text

Max’s was an Art Environment, replete with Art Consciousness and Self-Consciousness about Art Consciousness. To even walk into Max’s was to be absorbed into the collective Art Self-Conscious Consciousness, either as object or as collaborator. I didn’t want to be absorbed as a collaborator, because that would mean having my own consciousness co-opted and modified by that of others: It would mean allowing my consciousness to be influenced by their perceptions of art, and exposing my perceptions of art to their consciousness, and I didn’t want that. I have always had a very strong individualistic streak. My solution was to privatize my own consciousness as much as possible, by depriving it of sensory input from that environment; to isolate it from all tactile, aural, and visual feedback. In doing so I presented myself as a silent, secret, passive object, seemingly ready to be absorbed into their consciousness as an object. But I learned that complete absorption was impossible, because my ”voluntary” object like passivity implied aggressive activity and choice, an independent presence confronting the Art-Conscious environment with its autonomy. My objecthood became my subjecthood. (Adrian Piper)

Lending history
2013 Mönchengladbach, DE, Museum Abteiberg 2012 Karlsruhe, DE, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM) 2005 Rotterdam, NL, Witte de With 2.OG 2005 Zagreb, CRO, Galerija Klovicevi Dvori 2005 Munich, DE, Haus der Kunst 2002 Lyon, F, Musée d'Art Contemporain