This art show, to be held in the Art Center Highland Park, Illinois, will feature ephemeral site-specific installations by Annie Heckman, Wendy Kveck, Marci Rubin, Shawn Stucky, and Jess Witte. (Jess and I met during my writing residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts) From March 6-29, 2009, the art works will disintegrate, dissolve, and disappear. In the words of its curator, Olga Stefan:
For a Limited Time Only concentrates on the urgency of the work, and encourages the artists, as well as audiences, to consider these projects philosophically, focusing primarily on the idea of the work as temporary experience rather than artistic mark, and memory rather than document.
The premise of the show so goes against my ingrained ideas about art that I am sorely tempted to fly to Highland Park to see the installations. Why create what will not last? Why create what is not portable, like a passport, but takes its very meaning from its location? There is a degree of intransigency in site-specific installations that challenges my aesthetics of permanence, possession, and identity. These works declare they are not for sale.
I have seen film or video recordings of such works, and have felt that these recordings undermine the boldness of such aesthetic claims. Why make an object of something intended wholly to be an on-site experience? And so, even though I will not be there at Highland Park, I hope I won't be consoled by some memory of it that is not of my own making.