In Tending to Abundance - a durational performance by Lori Kharpoutlian and Elie Mouhanna
“What speaks to us, seemingly, is always the big event, the untoward, the extra-ordinary: the front-page splash, the banner headlines....Behind the event there is a scandal, a fissure, a danger, as if life reveals itself only by way of the spectacular, as if what speaks, what is significant, is always abnormal. [But] how should we take account of, question, describe what happens everyday and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual? (209-210)”
― Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
In a time characterized by an over-saturation of extraordinary crises and spectacular events what observations can surface from a momentary pause into the banal? This exercise is an act of scrutinizing that which is undeniably there, neglected and in abundance, but that we do not want to confront.
A forever-procrastinated and seemingly menial organizational task is turned into an exercise that oscillates between the domestic space and the marketplace, the commonplace and the spectacular, modern time and geological time, moving from piles to strata—of material and meaning.
IN TENDING TO ABUNDANCE
This durational performance is the first installment of “Exercise among friends”, a simple exercise-based format Lori Kharpoutlian is exploring as an excuse to come together with others to play with the unfolding of an idea–without a final outcome in mind. After countless exchanges and what-if’s over the years, she has invited Elie Mouhanna to think together of an exercise that responds to both their practices.