Shadowed! confronts the slippage of time and action within Ellen Rothenberg’s exhibition elsetime. Sweeping through the studio of Bertolt Brecht, Woodstock in the sixties, Berlin in the nineties, and the Syrian protests of today, Shadowed! projects a dispersive, unfolding temporality. Beginning with a suite of elsetime photographs, the book continues with reflections on the show by Hannah B Higgins, Jeffrey Skoller, Caroline Picard, and Shawn Michelle Smith—spreading out from there into an artist’s archive that includes scanned fragments of writings by Stefan Brecht, Allen Ginsberg, Angela Davis, and transcribed contributions from Simone Forti. A subsequent section includes documentation of performances produced in response to elsetime by artists, activists, and musicians. Shadowed! ends with the transcript of a public conversation that took place within the original exhibit, capturing a discussion that incorporates an active audience. By layering these performative, photographic, and written encounters, Shadowed! allows the afterimage of an exhibition to unfurl beyond the gallery, beyond this book, and into its own elsetime.
With contributions from: Mark Booth, Alexandria Eregbu, Simone Forti, Becky Grajeda, Hannah B Higgins, Terri Kapsalis, Tim Kinsella, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Dao Nguyen, Caroline Picard, Jeffrey Skoller, and Shawn Michelle Smith
“Ellen Rothenberg’s multimodal installation elsetime interlaced performance actions, installation, objects, public invitations to fellow artists, and visual essays. In this beautiful and thoughtfully designed book, you’ll find each of these aspects explored anew as though readied for further action. New pieces by collaborators enter the scene and become enmeshed in photographic echoes from ‘60s collective rallying, music documentary, contemporary migrancy, material icons, and the live events generated during the exhibition. The great exclamation mark of the title brings all these absents squarely into view, while posing the pressing question: how does one avoid reenacting shadows from the past!” —Caroline Bergvall, artist, writer, performer, and author of Drift.
“The four essays ground readers in specific moments in the vast expanse of history that Rothenberg’s work engages from the 1930s to the present. Together, these essays help unpack the labyrinth of meanings and allusions that each of Rothenberg’s objects offers. The writers reveal what Rothenberg initiates in ‘elsetime’: that histories change as different objects consume divergent subjectivities and as bodies come together to interact with them and their surrounding architectures.” —Newcity