Invisible Graffiti Magnet Show


Marie Lorenz and I went to Port Morris to use a defunct ferry dock dating from the early 1900s and passed through a lot belonging to a rigging company.  It was there that we made the accidental discovery of a Richard Serra Torqued Ellipse. The best theory we heard of why it might be there was that it was being stored to rust, as Cor-Ten steel takes a few years to achieve a sunset color. We dreamed of ways of stealing the massive steel work and decided that moving it even ten feet would be enough to claim it as our own.


We took our chance encounter with the Torqued Ellipse as an opportunity to respond to Serra and his concepts about the object, specifically his idea that any use of art is a misuse, and that sculpture is not architecture. Our intent was to carry out an act of conceptual vandalism on his work by manipulating its meaning. We sent out a call for site-specific art that would respond to the sculpture, with the single requirement that all artworks be magnetic and therefore temporary. This was a precautionary measure that guaranteed easy installation under precarious conditions while leaving the Serra sculpture intact and unblemished.


The call yielded a diverse body of work from seventeen artists, and on August 27, 2006, seven of us arrived at Port Morris at first light to install the works.The show opened at 7 am and closed four hours later when once again Marie and I found ourselves in front of a guard, this time with very little to say. “I hope you’re okay in the head,” he said and declined our offer of breakfast. We misused Serra’s sculpture like a refrigerator door and claimed it as a found site.


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