Thursday, September 27, 2007

a whole lot of nothing from ray johnson

Poster from George Maciunas' AG Gallery, 1961

My "Nothing" in 1961 was not an exhibition. It was an attempt to get as close to doing nothing as possible so the event consisted of dumping a box of wooden dowells down a staircase at exactly 8 o'clock. This lasted for less than a half minute created the soun d of falling wooden dowells by me. MacDowell music? American composer MacDowell? It was quick and then over. Some people arrived after eight and they walking up the stairs made this crunch sound on the dowells and someone asked me if I would do it again. So I picked up all the dowells and dumped them down the stairs a 2nd time. which I should not have done since it was another nothing not the nothing Ed Plunkett was there and to this days saved some of the dowells I think he mailed me one once years later. There was no electricity so the gallery space was almost black with beams of wood all over the floor from some construction work? Ad Reinhardt was there in the blackness which was appropriate Jason MacLow arrived late & wrote of his experience in a recent Fluxus book from London. It was a hot summer day. I found the dowells on my way there I walked miles to get there also a ceremony of nothing.
- correspondence from Ray Johnson, November 18, 1993
click here to see original

Included with November 18, 1993, correspondence


ptomaine said...

I don't know whether Ray Johnson intentionally or accidentally misspelled "dowell" throughout this letter

jn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jn said...

very nice.


i wonder why he was unheard of by most.
maybe he wanted it that way.