The Burden of Decision:
Two Exercises on Collaboration
a collaboration between
Ursula Davila Villa & Carla Herrera-Prats
curator and artist will be present on Sunday, April 9
on view: April 9 - May 7, 2006
open Sundays, 1 - 5 pm and by appointment
testsite | 502 West 33rd Street | Austin, Texas
The Burden of Decision: Two Exercises on Collaboration began with an exploration of testsite’s library with the goal of understanding the processes underpinning collaborations. In the course of surveying this collection, the volumes, documents and ephemera related to the work of the artist Lawrence Weiner manifested as a driving force behind the formation of this archive. These items are the focus of testsite 06.1, which consists of two exercises that consider the idea of collaboration. Utilizing the methodology Weiner himself employed during the 1960s, this collaboration seeks to illustrate some of the elements, relationships and decision-making processes that come into play during collaborative projects.
- A declaration or avowal of one's act or of a fact to give it legal validity. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 2005)
- Acknowledgements embody a wide rage of relationships among people, agencies, institutions, and research. (Gil and Councill: 2004)
Exercise #1 is an exploration of the evolution of written acknowledgments in Lawrence Weiner's books and about Lawrence Weiner's work within testsite’s library.
"As Weiner stated later,'The person who was receiving the painting would say what size they wanted, what color they wanted, how big a removal they wanted.' The Propeller paintings thus undermined their own authority by inviting and then incorporating that of the viewer or, as the case may be, the patron. In this exchange among artist, art object, and viewer, the sense of a single authority or signatory dissolves altogether, placing the burden of decision-making on the collector." (Alberro: 2003)
Exercise #2 is an invitation from the curator and artist to testsite’s team to participate in a publication. Both, the invitation, and the finished publication work together as a form of collaboration.
*Alberro, Alexander, Conceptual Art and Politics and the Politics of Publicity, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003, p. 89
*Gile, Lee and Councill G., Isaac, Who gets acknowledged: Measuring scientific contributions through automatic acknowledgement indexing, in PNAS, Vol. 101, No. 51, December, 2004
*Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, by Merriam-Webster Inc., 2005