Mike Parr: Sunset Claws, Part 3: Going Home
⬤ Anna Schwartz Gallery 5 Dec - 16 Dec 2023
Three weeks ago, on Saturday 2 December 2023, artist Mike Parr staged a live performance at Anna Schwartz Gallery. The third of a three-part exhibition titled Sunset Claws, the Going Home performance was open to all members of the public, with video documentation subsequently presented in the gallery.
During the five-hour-long performance, Parr executed three distinct actions: painting words on the white walls, painting over the words in red with a sponge, and painting three upside-down horses in black, all with his eyes closed.
In the first action, Parr drew on thirty-one statements sourced for the most part from the London Review of Books (LRB) as well as his own record of two sentences said to be based on comments spoken to him by his gallerist Anna Schwartz, related to the Israel–Gaza conflict. He did not just copy each statement onto the wall. Instead, a co-performer (a gallery employee) read them out to Parr one by one. In the video documentation, the co-performer’s voice is deep and has an unvarying pitch, creating a hypnotic, almost meditative effect, punctuated by the artist climbing up and down a ladder and inscribing each statement on the wall.