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Harold Abramowitz

first performed on January 30, 2011
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles, CA
performed once in 2011


Amanda Ackerman, Harold Abramowitz, Kate Durbin, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Teresa Carmody

Los Angeles, CA


“Explanation as Composition” is an inversion of Stein’s essay “Composition as Explanation.” Or as Stein says, “This makes the thing we are looking at very different and this makes what those who describe it make of it, it makes a composition, it confuses, it shows, it is, it looks, it likes it as it is, and this makes what is seen as it is seen.”

“Explanation as Composition” explored the ways in which texts-as narratives-operate within and around a gallery space. How does the narrative of an experience affect that experience, and how are narratives “curated”-publicly and privately? “Explanation as Composition” began with a social writing event in which invited writer-participants collaboratively created six narrative experiences of the gallery: story, geography, ekphrasis, provenance, nature, and confession. These narratives were then turned into audio tours of the then-current exhibition space; gallery visitors could choose which audio tour they liked to experience, complete with an accompanying brochure. Select narratives continued beyond the space of the gallery through a series of online texts, curated by UNFO, and published on the Les Figues Press blog.

“Explanation as Composition” began with a social writing event (“Collaborative Social Writing Event”). Fifteen writers used materials in and around LACE to draft source material for the audio tours. Writers included: Amanda Ackerman, Harold Abramowitz, Kate Durbin, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Teresa Carmody, Aimee Bender, Allison Carter, Mark Z. Danielewski, Carribean Fragoza, Veronica Gonzalez, Janice Lee, Harryette Mullen, Janet Sarbanes, Anna Joy Springer, and Stephen Van Dyck.

From March 3 – April 17, 2011, the “Explanation as Composition” audio tours ran alongside the LACE exhibition “On the Line,” curated by Cody Trepte and the ongoing exhibition “Painted Over/Under,” by Kim Schoenstadt.

From March 4 – April 17, 2011, select narratives left the gallery space and continued on the Les Figues blog online. Posted there was audio tour source material generated during the collaborative social writing day, plus new writing, solicited from other writers we admire.