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Robyn Love

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In many ways, I view my work as an extension of the long list of work that women know well: raising children, doing laundry, cooking meals, and keeping house. These tasks exist only as long as the action exists and must be done repeatedly. So too my work‹it usually takes months of repetitive labor to create the work, yet it does not truly exist except in the moment of placement, then it disappears. I want to expand the vocabulary for these experiences because I believe such a vocabulary does not yet exist in its fullness. In a recent piece, titled Standing Still, I experimented with allowing the site to absorb the work I left my intervention hanging on Canal Street where it could easily be taken by any passer-by. The following passage is
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from a report I wrote after the Canal Street project ended. ‘Standing Still became the pivotal point in my life for about nine months it was the thing around which I lived the rest of my life. All my other normal activities, including caring for my children, keeping house, meeting other deadlines, and even riding the subway, had to revolve around making and stitching together the over 2,000 granny squares that
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were used in the piece. As I look back, I realize there were very few moments during the period between June 2002 and February 2003 when my hands were idle. Although I had three other people helping to create the squares, the project required constant production for those nine months. The process of giving away the results of all that labor was the most challenging and most rewarding part of the project. At first, I would be very attached to each blanket (or cozy) and think, ‘I can¹t give this away, I’ll keep just this one.’ But at the moment, on the street, when I put the work up, I knew I could let it go. The best feeling was arriving at Canal Street in the morning with two big bags filled with my work and, a few hours later, walking away empty-handed. This feeling of letting it go, giving it all away, was addictive. I felt like a junky before each installation, knowing that I would have my high by the afternoon. When the exhibition period was over, I went back to collect a few of the blankets to keep as a record of the project. That experience was very unsatisfying. I had looked forward to having a few of the blankets for my own, but now they sit in my studio in a pile: they are dirty and some of them smell horribly after several months on the street. It made me realize that the
artwork can not be separated from the site. The granny squares have no magic of their own when removed from the sights, sounds and smells of Canal Street.’
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IMAGE DESCRIPTION : 1. - It's Cold Outside: Cozy for Richard Noseworthy, Died 1965Pouch Cove, Newfoundland (1997). 2. Memorials/The Doughboy, Woodside (Queens), NY. 3. Dressing Up Mutton to Look Like Lamb, at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY (2004) . 4 and 5, detail from installation of ‘Standing Still’ which included 60 hand crochet granny square blankets on all street lights, stop lights and sign posts along Canal Street in Manhattan. Part II. 6. Nature, at Buzzer 30, Astoria (Queens), NY (2004)
Robyn Love
47-05 39th Avenue
Sunnyside,
NY 11104
New York, NY
New York
North America

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