New Words: a performance art piece by Marilyn Arsem


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  • Arsem

Marilyn Arsem performed a piece at the Main Library in October 2013, entitled Lost Words, as part of the Library's first annual Performance Art Festival. Lost Words revolved around the idea of words that have fallen into disuse. Using a large dictionary, Arsem encouraged patrons to find an old word and "revive" it by putting it to use in daily conversation.

In Arsem's performance at Anderson-Foothill, entitled New Words, she will interact with patrons in a similar fashion, but with the idea of building a new dictionary with words created during the performance.

This will be a durational piece, eight hours in length, available to patrons as they come and go throughout the day. Viewers are welcome to take part for a few moments or stay and watch for the duration.

Marilyn Arsem is an internationally renowned performance artist who has been creating live events since 1975, ranging from solo performances to large-scale interactive works incorporating installation and performance. She has presented her work at festivals, alternative spaces, galleries, museums, universities and conferences throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America. She is on the faculty of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she teaches performance art. She is a member of Mobius, Inc., which she founded in 1977. Mobius is an interdisciplinary collaborative of artists who also operate a gallery in Boston.

Many of her works are durational in nature, minimal in actions and materials, and located in peripheral spaces in the context of larger festivals. Viewers discover the work on their way to seeing other performances. Arsem has focused on creating works in response to specific sites, engaging with the immediate landscape and materiality of the location, its history, use or politics. Sites have included a former Cold War missile base in the United States, a 15th-century Turkish bath in Macedonia, an aluminum factory in Argentina, an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Poland, and the site of the Spanish landing in the Philippines. Arsem first performed in Salt Lake City in 2013 at Nox Contemporary Gallery.

Location: Anderson-Foothill

Contact Information: 801-594-8611