For the most part my engagement with almost all art has been through its documentation. Fea-tures and reviews in art publications, installation shots on artists' websites, press releases and newsletters emailed to me more times a day than I care for, process shots on social media platforms, and doomed works and ideas described in loose detail during conversations. I guess what I've always liked about engaging with artworks in this way is that there's still some wiggle room for them, there's enough finality missing to easily project my own interests onto them and to imagine them into completion.
Sometimes I see a work in a museum and it is clearly dead and no one says a thing.
The work I'm trying to make at the moment, or thinking about trying to make, is a body of work that can exist entirely through secondary sources. That doesn't have to be real or final, but can easily pretend to be: a 10 second video as stand in for a feature-length film, a photo-graph as a stand in for a 4 hour endurance performance, a maquette as a stand in for an impos-sible and expensive installation, and an artist statement as a placholder for a practice. Basically a type of work that's half theoretical and half simulated, that still allows for speculation on the part of the viewer, but also sometimes has them turn the page to nothing and ask "is that it?"
Sometimes I wonder if I can make a body of work look 50ft. high by using practical effects.
Artist Statement Mitchell Gilbert Messina
Atelierprogramm: Basel, Juli - September 2017