In conjunction with the two photo-based installations Kay Burns (Canada) has concurrently at The New Gallery, this performance draws on the idea of the role of an archivist. The works in the exhibition are presented as collected documentation and materials of an anonymous archivist. The archivist is an ageless, nameless, genderless, timeless, institution-less, individual. We know nothing about the archivist other than what appears in the selection of presented materials. Through these projects broad questions surface regarding the impetus collect, archive, annotate, and scrutinize the lives of others and to make them public in a curious way. The archivist is fictional, as are many aspects of the content of the installations themselves, alluding to questions of who defines the truth within museum and archival contexts.
Borrowing loosely from the idea of the television series Antiques Roadshow, the unseen archivist invites people to bring in their own ‘artifact’ and leave it for three days for the archivist’s scrutiny. The archivist will create a brief ‘authenticated’ history/description of each object as per the guidelines of the Standard Protocol for Artifact Management (SPAM), which will be given to the owner of the artifact with the return of their object at a reception three days later.
Artifact Drop off: Saturday, October 20, 2012 — 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Redistribution of Artifacts & Reception: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Kay Burns (Canada) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Newfoundland. She is involved in the creation of performance art, photography, locative media, audio, video, and installation. Her artwork has been presented at venues internationally including New York, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Belfast and Los Angeles; as well as at numerous galleries and festivals across Canada from Dawson City, Yukon to St. John’s, Newfoundland. She was a curator for five years at the Muttart Public Art Gallery in Calgary, and she taught for 10 years through the University of Calgary Art Department and the Alberta College of Art + Design Media Arts Department prior to her move to Newfoundland.