Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Robert Morris | Continuous Project Altered Daily

Robert Morris
Continuous Project Altered Daily
New York City, USA: Multiples, Inc., 1970
[18] pp., 11.5 x 30.5 cm., accordion-fold
Edition of 1200

Continuous Project Altered Daily documents an installation of materials such as earth, water, grease, wood, plastic, felt, string, light, photographs, and sound. The form was, as the title suggests, altered daily.

Edited by Marian Goodman for inclusion in the Artists & Photographs box (which also included Christo, Douglas Heubler, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and others) the leporello book presents 16 sepia-toned photos of the installation showing twelve stages of the work, along with detail shots of the piece.

"This cool and important accordion is the documentation of a work by Morris (1931-2018) which took place over a 22 day period at the dealer Leo Castelli's warehouse in New York. Scattered along a wall Morris brought in a cornucopia of different materials such as: earth, clay, asbestos, cotton, water, grease, plastic, felt, wood, thread waste, electric lights, photographs, and a tape recorder. Morris started the work on February 28th and over the next 22 day span he would move these materials into different combinations creating an ongoing work that never solidified into any one shape, thus eliding definition as a sculpture and moving into something much less definable and infinity variable. Visitors were invited to visit during the afternoons and Morris worked on the piece at other times. 

A pioneer and theoretician of the emerging minimal, process art, earth art and anti-form movements of the period Morris is an important historical figure. Morris would describe this piece as both "A reverse excavation, building up ruins,"(1) and "The most mythical thing I've ever done. Cain-like of dirt, a construction that goes nowhere, a constructed ruin built over an abandoned agricultural organization." Underlining the importance of this work within his larger career Thomas Kren, a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, remarked that "Robert Morris' entire oeuvre is a single work — 'a continuous project altered daily.'"

The accordion format is the ideal medium with which to demonstrate the changes that took place during these 22 days, and it's also one that offers the viewer a chance to see in one full sweep the constantly mutating processes that defined this work or non-work.”
- Stephen Perkins, Accordion Publications

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