100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 95: Black Sand 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 95: Black Sand
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Nick Procopi

Day 83: Transfer 2 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 83: Transfer 2
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by J. Rice

Day 83: Transfer 2 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 83: Transfer 2
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by J. Rice

Day 77: Sea 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 77: Sea
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Chelsea Coon

Day 58: Half-Hours 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 58: Half-Hours
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Thomas O’Malley

Day 43: Ocean 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 43: Ocean
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Daniel Embree

Day 10: Melting 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 10: Melting
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by J. Rice

Day 3: Sands of Time 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 3: Sands of Time
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Jed Speare

Day 99: Salt 100 Ways to Consider Time

Day 99: Salt
100 Ways to Consider Time
100 6-hour durational performances by Marilyn Arsem
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
November 9, 2015 – February 19, 2016
Photo by Mark Solinsky

Performing daily, for six hours each day, for 100 consecutive days from November 9, 2015, to February 19, 2016. Each day was a different performance about time.

event:
2015-2016 exhibition in Gallery 261 of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art
venue:
Jeanne and Stokley Towles Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
location:
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
sponsor:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
date:
October 2015

Project Notes:

Consider these 100 performances as a series of inquiries on the nature of time. The constant across all of them was their six-hour duration. However, the length and quality of each of those six-hour periods felt profoundly different because of the choice of actions.

Some of the actions were personal and idiosyncratic, some more methodical and scientific. Some were poetic, others were practical, some were playful, and some were meditative. Many of the performances involved conversations with the audience or asked for their assistance. A number of the performances focused on the timescale of material processes of growth and decay, while others experimented with different ways of measuring time, with mechanical devices, through the mind, with the body, or in relation to specific actions. On some days, scientific texts were read out loud, other days were still and silent.

The 100 performances were not planned in advance. Each day’s action grew out of what had occurred the previous day. The actions were straightforward, using minimal materials. A single action was chosen for each day. Audience members coming into the room to observe for a few minutes might not see anything that appeared monumental. But the longer they stayed, the more they could begin to recognize the implications of sustaining that action for six hours.

People began to return regularly to the gallery to see what that day’s action would be. They in turn helped to explain the work to newcomers. It is neither common for a museum to show performance art, nor for an exhibition to change every day.

Printed cards were available in the gallery for the audience, inviting them to respond to the question, “How do you experience time?” Rather than being asked to write about the performance, they were instead being invited to participate in the work. More than one thousand visitors to the exhibition responded to the question, leaving written answers in the gallery, sending mail and emails, and posting photos and comments online on Twitter and Instagram.

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