The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World

Laura Owens. Untitled. 2014 11606

Laura Owens. Untitled. 2014. Acrylic, silkscreen inks, Flashe, oil, and gesso on linen. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York. © Laura Owens

LAURA OWENS: Hi, this is Laura Owens.

Before we start looking let’s reflect where we are. This location was designed for you to train your eyes and senses on objects and talk to your neighbor or yourself about what it is you are looking at. It happens all the time here and it should be easy to guide yourself. At least it should be easy to find the art. It could be obvious that it is in here. Outside of here there are large problems that are not art problems. Inside the art problems are only in the art objects, you know what I mean.

When you look at these objects, do you think they are looking at you? Don’t you think they are human too? You see the birds but they don’t see you.

For many years we have been scouting locations to hang paintings. We are looking for rooms to make photographs of hanging paintings. Images of exhibitions are wonderful narrations. Projections.

There is a static image inside the moving image. How can this be? You might want to walk around and film the space and there is a space in the painting ready for projection. Take a picture. What do you think about when you read the words in the painting? How are they different from the didactics on the wall telling you my name, the date, and the lender.
Where is the painting? It’s easy to find right?

They work in spaces to make them art spaces. We changed a bar into an art gallery. How rude! The bar is sad! Alfred Barr started this art museum, do you think he is happy? If you are not ready to go home can I get a hell no? He made an art gallery into a bar. More humans used this space before this painting walked in and made it an art space. OK? Well? Better? Worse? Is this our house? Is this our party? We can do what we want right? Once upon a time there was a ginormous monster who loved a princess and her name was LaLA and she hated him because he had really fierce jaws but one day her mother the queen said she had to marry but she didn’t’ want to so she ran away. That’s it!

I’m going to marry her anyway. Quitting is beginning. Let’s quit together. Let’s leave this space alone. This is our house this is our roof. Let’s hang, hang out and hang ourselves together and alone. In order to begin please quit what you are doing.
Here are our surrogates they are young and dumb. Get an up close view of your favorite without scaring them. We could go all night.

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