Andrea Zittel Lecture

I went to the Andrea Zittel talk last night at PSU. Packed house -- a bigger turnout than I've ever seen for a Monday night artist lecture. I felt lucky to snag a spot on the floor from which I could actually see the projector screen and wasn't blocked by other people's heads. And this was in the new room they have for the artist lectures -- I can't imagine everyone trying to fit in the old venue.

(I'm not going to recap the whole evening. The lecture will supposedly be made available on Art Talk AM, though at the time of this posting it's not.)

Anyway, it was really great -- the lecture, the crowd, the general vibe. I caught myself admiring Andrea Zittel's dress before I even realized it was her, and once I realized that it was, I couldn't help but wonder if it was her own creation. It's true that her personal uniforms are now from a few years back, but it definitely looked like it fit into that vein. (Or maybe it was related to this smockshop tangent.) I was also surprised at her age. Turns out she's 43. She seems very youthful... and it's hard to get a sense of perspective on an artist's progression through just looking at articles and whatnot, but her talk actually helped me do that much better.

I found her to be very approachable, personable. And she had a lot of interesting things to talk about, like how freedom can be found in the loopholes of society, flying under the radar, rather than having and accumulating more and more. (Something I should really take to heart.) She also talked a little about her choice to not make money off reproducing her work, mass producing her creations for sale. I found that very refreshing... it's not a stance that I hear much in the art world (not to say that it's not common, but I think it's either not voiced very loudly, or it's repressed).

Perhaps the most interesting thing she talked about was a residency where she spent a week in a "vacation from time," as she called it. The residency was in a basement studio, which lined up perfectly with a project she had been wanting to do. She wanted to see what natural rhythms or cycles developed without the structure of time. I guess she ended up feeling like hell from it, but I think that would make an awesome ongoing residency program. I, for one, would love to be a resident in a program like that (see previous post).

All in all, I found it to be a lovely evening, very encouraging, if not inspiring. I need to go to more Monday night lectures.