disintegration of Sam Tan's "63 in '08"
Variation and Original Concept:
unless noted otherwise, all photos taken by Bob Raymond (MAG)
Day 1: Curator forgot to move chairs around installation
Day 2: Rectangle still remains intact
Day 3: Showing chalk puddles and initial installation
“63 in '08”
There were 63 homicides in Boston in 2008. The installation offers the opportunity for the viewer to question oneself the degree of connectedness to such crimes in the city as well as ruminate on ways that everyone could help to lower violent crimes in the future.
Sam Tan is an emerging artist who is based in the Boston area and he has been exhibiting extensively for the past eight years. He currently has works in The Boston Drawing Project at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, as well as Pierogi Flat Files in Brooklyn. He recently had a solo exhibition at the Artists Foundation Gallery in Boston. Tan’s works have entered into private and corporate collections, and have been acquired by public companies. He has been awarded scholarships from the Bertha Walker Foundation and his works have been published in various publications, including the Harvard Advocate.
Note from the Curator:
1. I have to confess that I loved the artist's initial concept of the 63 chalk puddles (as we both called them) on the floor. When the artist proposed a variation on his initial submission, I said, why not do both and said we could get some extra people to help create the puddles (which in reality turned out to be David Chin of course) if we could install the puddles on Monday right before the evening's performances. My hope was that someone would make use of the puddles in their performance. As it turned out, Monday had fewer performances (and shorter ones - being almost all dance/movement/butoh oriented) so I decided to perform myself with the intent of doing something meditative with the puddles. Once again, events transmogrified as I also wanted Karen Klein's installation to be destroyed. How these disparate actions were accomplished was revealed and described at some length in a previous post (Karen Klein - June 12 2009 ).
2. In case there is some confusion about this, Sam Tan installed two versions of his concept. The first was actually a variation on his original proposal. It is the installation of the names on acetate enclosed by a red frame on the window with a rectangle of white chalk on the floor. The second is 63 chalk puddles on the gallery floor which he installed (with help from David Chin) during the afternoon of Monday May 25 2009.
Comments from Visitor's Book:
"63 in '08 seemed very heartwrenching for me - the transparency on the window with tiny black text of deaths (so how come so many in Dorchester??) yet, as you read the names my eyes also took in the flowering shrubs outside and the beautiful blue flowers. Why is it like this?"
"63 in '08 is powerful. The chalk (now dispersed) on the floor reminds me of ground drawing in voodoo ceremonies for spirits that are carefully created (hours of work) and then erased/dispersed in an instant when the actual ceremony begins and people dance over/through them. Such are the momentary portals between the living and the dead/spirits"