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“Art is what conceals labor best.” claims Jonathan P. Watts in a text included in Adam Linder’s work Some Proximity, performed recently at MOCA’s Step and Repeat festival. Linder’s Some Cleaning: A Choreographic Service, a work in the same series, was enacted July 25, 2015 at 356 Mission’s Ooga Booga store.
Some Cleaning is durational, as explained in a prominently displayed contract; a service expressly for hire. The contract states that “the choreographer, the viewer, and the location are accruing corporeal experience; though this may be difficult to measure in usual terms of efficiency.” Some Cleaning makes porous borders between the action of the artist’s body, the slippery nature of contractual engagement of performance work within the gallery system, and the explicitly commodity driven arena of the shop.
Moving in silence, Linder demanded much from his audience. While Some Proximity employed familiar dance movements, Some Cleaning utilized repetitive actions closer to meditative exercises. Linder is educated and his gestures and body are trained (factors which complicate the message communicated through his choice of attire). A uniform of tight rolled denim overalls, clean white t-shirt, and black sneakers, mimicked utilitarian apparel. The blue collar aesthetic being quoted operated in critical opposition to the privileged space of the gallery. While Linder’s movements were idiosyncratically interesting, his attire remained in the realm of costuming.