Commissioned Works

PFA Collection Prints
James Melchert in Person

The compilation can serve, conceptually, as a sampler of an instant in time. In its realization, it is very much a dynamic expression of that moment, of some particular cultural manifestation, but in retrospect it becomes a representative cross-section like strata in an archaeological dig. Jim Melchert's BAM-sponsored project Commissioned Works is a rollicking roundup of conceptually and performatively oriented artists of the mid-seventies-Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Robert Cumming, Les Levine, Paul McCarthy, Dennis Oppenheim, William Wegman, and others. Each artist was given $100, a half-inch, open-reel tape, and four minutes of conceptual time. “Yet time itself-in the sense of duration-is not really the issue,” Melchert declared. “Rather, it is timing, and the ability to respond to a unit of clocktime with a structure that will articulate the space it develops.” These “commissioned” works are both time-based and timeless.

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