read as part of one million years - on kawara @ the guggenheim

                                        On Kawara     One Million Years   1970

                                      On Kawara   One Million Years  1970

In 1973 Georges Perec published a short manifesto-like piece called “Approaches to What?” It is a denunciation of daily newspapers in the name of dailiness: “The daily papers talk of everything except the daily. The papers annoy me, they teach me nothing.”For Perec the papers only deal in what is extraordinary and exotic. For the newspaper coal miners onlyexist when there is an explosion at the pit, trains only exist when they are derailed. Perec’s project proposes an attention to the “infra-ordinary” and the “endotic”, a form of attention that will question the habitual, the taken-for-granted, and the routine. I think Perec and Kawara share a refusal to be sutured into dailiness by the concerns of the newspapers but I think they pursue slightly different ways of doing this. Perec’s answer is to insist on the significance of the insignificant, to describe and name that which falls below the horizon of the significant: everything he sees in a street for instance. Kawara however does something with the time of the daily and its relationship to the event-time of the newspaper that throws it into a different temporal order, an order that is at once much longer than the event-time of newspapers, but also much more connected to the temporal dimensions of the daily as it is lived by a human body.

      From "I make love to the days": Accounting for On    Kawara by Ben Highmore