Jesse Aron Green
The First of the Departed (2010)
19 x 25 inches, Black paper
Edition of 10 (#1-5 donated to MATERIAL)
THE FIRST OF THE DEPARTED
Rubbed with water from a bottle to rid chalk and dirt, moss on this headstone stays ingrown, is dry from the heat of the slate in the heat. Clean and dry enough to press paper and rub, I rub. It is a repetitive thing. In translation the epitaph reads as Institutional History as Natural History, as mirrors:
"Art is long," (craft)
"life is short," (vitality)
"opportunity fleeting," (precipitous)
"experiment dangerous," (perilous)
"judgment difficult." (difficult)
S. Lane Faison, the first of the departed in a line of preceptors, administrators, back-room dealers—those who elevate and dismiss, devoted to accumulation and its devoted—invokes Hippocrates for his grave. He cannot mean art will go on forever (regardless of life's going-on) but (implied) perhaps its craft, and the craft of its study (its dissection and understanding) will; will have influence; will, as it has been passed, pass on, within the folded leaves of the cosca (and without): outgrown, in these parts and others known as the Williams Mafia.
I will rub through these grounds for a year. To start in summer on a hot slate I am led to other words from a student and brother and son of this patriarch of men, of Stoddard and Buck and Pilgrim and Wood, of Rondeau and Goven and Lowry and Krens, from Varnedoe, who wrote: “The less there is to look at, the more important that it is we look closely.”
Jesse Aron Green was born in 1979 in Boston, MA. He received his MFA from UCLA and his BA from Harvard University. His recent exhibitions include a solo show at Halle14, Leipzig, the 2010 Whitney Biennial, and a project in the Oil Tanks at Tate Modern. He is the Arthur Leavitt Fellow at Williams College for 2010/2011.