Everything #10
May 1 & 2, until it fades
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Everything #10
May 1 & 2, until it fades

Click Here to Read the Participants' Journals

Tuesday, May 1, 11am – 7pm, Cooper Union
51 Astor Place (btw 3rd and 4th Ave). On the porch, moved indoors if bad weather.

Wednesday, MAY 2, 11am- 7pm, NYU
Steinhardt Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street (9th St. betw 3rd and 2nd Aves), Room 101 (Near the Astor stop on the 6 Train)

Adrian Piper creates a poetic and philosophical duration performance in which the text “Everything will be taken away” will be written, in henna, on an unspecified number of participants’ foreheads that respond to an open call. The henna will be applied to respondents on May 1 and May 2.  Written in reverse, the message becomes readable when seen through the reflection of a mirror, and the dye is anticipated to endure on the skin for 1- 2 weeks. The participants will be asked keep journals of their experiences and audience reactions during the project, then re-read the journals a year after the performance.  Written directly on the forehead the text suggests the layered, shifting organization and loss of memory. It is both a promise and a threat. What will be taken away and what do we consider to be ‘our’ everything?

Everything will be taken away is labeled #10 as it is the tenth rendition of the ongoing series the artist began in 2003.  The simple prose has been displayed in a variety of media including sandwich boards and on personal photographs that have been photocopied, printed and erased. Contingent upon the context and relationship to the audience, the sentence reveals new aspects of its potential meanings with each adaptation. The endurance and repetition of the phrase is crucial to the series and the relationship to Piper’s writings and philosophical work.  A student and teacher of philosophy and meta-ethics, Piper often employs Hindu philosophical imagery and concepts, such as the henna used in this project. 

The Artist
Berlin-based Adrian Piper (born 1948, NY) is a first-generation conceptual artist who started exhibiting internationally at the age of twenty. Since the late 1960s, her work has consistently utilized representation, political dissonances and discourses relating to ethnicity and gender in appropriated images and writings from a variety of current and historical sources.

In 1970 she embarked on her seminal Catalysis series in which through a series of spontaneous and unannounced performances she transformed herself into an odd or repulsive person and went out in public to experience the frequently disdainful responses of others. Such confrontational tactics were again employed in the series The Mythic Being, in which Piper took on the persona of a young, black male described best in the title of one of the series, I Embody Everything You Most Hate and Fear (1975).