The Present Tense has decided to end our 2011 Rope Series by highlighting a recent work by Alice Vogler. As many of you know, MEME, the gallery that The Present Tense co-founded in 2009 came to an end in late May. Vogler was also a co-founder. She continued to run MEME with Vela Phelan and Dirk Adams after Bradley Benedetti, Philip and I resigned from MEME in June 2010. Her farewell to the space came in the form of a 24 hour piece.
Vogler began at 7pm on May13th surrounded by a stack of toilet paper, three spools of white mason string and seven white bottles of water. She wrapped the string around the toilet paper to create a rope.
Norfolk Street visited her throughout the night, peering through the windows and offering her gifts. This ritual began with the first exhibition held at MEME. The neighborhood was always eager to participate in what was happening in the space.
Vogler describes the rope that accumulated on the floor as an umbilical cord, connecting her to the space.
She finished constructing the rope around 5:30pm on May 14th. The rope became a nest that Vogler rested in. When she woke up, Dirk Adams and Vela Phelan wrapped the rope around MEME while Alison Adams helped Vogler wrap the rest of the rope around her body. People were invited into the space to witness this action.
After Vogler was encased by the rope, she engaged in a litany of sorts, reciting all of the exhibitions that had taken place at MEME. MEME showed over 200 artists in its 2 year history, making this an overwhelming task for anyone, especially the sleep deprived. As Vogler recited the names of the artists and shows, she slowly untangled herself from the rope. As the rope fell to the floor, it was revealed that the end was tied around Vogler’s waist. She ends the piece by cutting the rope, releasing MEME.*
Alice Vogler’s work center’s around the physical and mental healing processes that exist in individual’s lives and her own day-to-day life. She is interested in investigating what heals: the process, that object, or the ritual. Most recently she has been working with the element of anticipation. She has been investigating to what extent anticipation changes how time is experienced. The viewer is always an essential element in her work.
Alice received her Bachelors of Fine Arts form Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oregon, and her Masters of Fine Arts form the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tuffs University in Boston Massachusetts. She co-owned and curated MEME Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2009-2011. She has shown her work in many performance events over the last 10 years including: Rough Trade in Chicago, Illinois, LUMEN Festival in Stanton Island, New York, Tremor Festival in Bogotá, Columbia, OPEN in Beijing, China, and Transmuted in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
* The MEME space (55 Norfolk St. in Central Square Cambridge, MA) began as 55 Gallery in 2008 and was passed on to us. MEME has been passed on to Mobius Artist Group. The Present Tense looks forward to seeing how the next cycle of this space will manifest.