John Q was one of six recipients of a Southern Constellations fellowship administered and curated by Elsewhere and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. During our residency in June 2013 we created the piece Untitled (Books).
Much of our work is concerned with getting archival collections into public circulation and attaching them to lived experience. Initially searching Elsewhere’s incredible living collection for evidence of provenance, we finally settled on the books in the library. We photo-documented inscriptions in the books and culled a series of events and corresponding dates after some of Félix González-Torres’s untitled work installed in institutions as a frieze of sorts. Our dates included information from Elsewhere’s books, its institutional past, and fragments from John Q’s lives and past projects.
Untitled (Books) is a conceptual piece designed to accommodate intervention and invite change from Elsewhere’s artists-in-residence, interns, and curatorial staff. This is how most projects that use the collection work. In addition, the piece can be borrowed and exhibited by other venues and institutions. The parameters of this future activity are stipulated in the Certificate of Re-use signed by a member of the collective and Elsewhere’s Operations Curator. This contract also now exists as its own inscription in one of the library’s books.