Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Richard Beckman, MFA

Committee Member

Rozalinda Borcila, MFA

Committee Member

Wendy Babcox, MFA


sorry, water, failure, neutrality, tourism


The Thornton Biennial: The Kruszka Pavilion: The 29YR Apology document functions as a catalog for the art event of the same name that occurred in November 2004. The catalog features a director's statement detailing the organizational practices of the event as well as a curatorial statement highlighting motivations for the event. In addition the catalog features color plates and statements from the sole participant in the 2004 Thornton Biennial. Selected excerpts: -When writing, I tell myself that I will immediately delete the writing upon its completion. Not so much because I fear its contents or the repercussions of having written it but because it feels too permanent and polarizing if I leave it. A lack of commitment? Maybe. Thinking of it as a lack of commitment seems too easy though, as to say one that cannot decide between soup and salad at lunch in someway lacks dedication to either liquid or solid foods. In this instance "commitment" sounds out of context.

Commitment involves significance and ideals. And even if we extend this example to the actual meal and one's decision to eat or not eat lunch it is still negligible as far as commitment is concerned even though we partake in it daily. I don't write daily. On second thought I do. I think there is a point here. Perhaps the question of commitment extends beyond the soup and the writing to the internal reasoning process that is required to actively pursue either of those endeavors. The point I am making here but not articulating very well is that my commitment is to perpetuating a state of neutrality/nullification through somewhat tangential and irrational logic. And again this is incorrect terminology. Another attempt at clarification via art historical means might invoke the erased De Kooning, Beuy's declaration that "the silence of Duchamp was overrated" or Bas Jan Ader's In Search of the Miraculous.

The previous attempt at clarification is muddied with personalities, it is perhaps better to say that I am committed to the idea of the disappearing act, the entire act. The rabbit is on stage and then the rabbit disappears and then the not knowing whether or not the rabbit will reappear. And still this is flawed because it is reduced to illusion. Another difficult realization, I am committed to language but I do not trust language. - A final interpretation, a trusted colleague commented that the Thornton Biennial sounds akin to a movie about saving the orphanage. He referenced several Hollywood storylines that involve characters going to extraordinary and often bizarre measures to save their cherished institutions. I was sold. It fit too perfectly; the corn syrup and cheese reserved for stories about rural villages. At this point it is difficult to ascertain where the imitation occurs with art or with life. Nevertheless, the theory has substance.

It is the most popular reasoning among the local population. In The Chit Chat Cafe or Dave's Bar and Grill there are frequent discussions of plans to "push a few breaths" into the body of the barely conscious town. The rational conversations commonly move back and forth from reinvigorating the farm economy to finding ways to import young professionals and families. Fairly regularly though, out of des- peration and/or great hope, residents make wild suggestions and proclamations. Thornton now has five times the water they need and a contemporary art fair. -Jordo. I'm sorry that fourteen and fifteen year old girls can be such cruel bitches. I'm sorry I can't destroy them for you. Instead, I will try provide you with devious plans for revenge as they become available to me. I miss you and regret being gone. I apologize for disappearing. Thanks for helping me out. Love, Ethan