Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Oct 9, 10:30am - 4pm

Tim Youd: 100 Novels photo

October 9 – 13, 10:30am – 1 pm; 2pm – 4pm, daily, (various locations throughout the museum)

An openness to the sensual experience of creating, encountering, and experiencing a work of art best allows entry into Tim Youd’s process of intense re-reading and re-typing selected 20th-century novels.

The performance represents a devotional and close reading of novels through the act of retyping a book on the same make and model typewriter as the author and in a locale significant to the novel. Each book is retyped in its entirety on a single sheet of paper, which is laid on top of a second sheet and run repeatedly through the typewriter. Upon completion, the two sheets are separated and mounted side-by-side as a relic of the performance, one containing all of the artist’s keystrokes within the rectangular form of two pages of an open book.

These images are not depictions or representations, but rather the compressed evidence of the durational performance. Tattered and shredded, their physical and tactile qualities embody a direct, tangible correspondence to both the book and to the reader/typist.

Youd calls his process “ecstatic reading.” Contrary to an eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head cliché of “ecstasy,” however, his performances are tamped-down and direct, with heightened engagement occurring between the artist and the book. This interaction is not unlike many unwitnessed studio “performances” between artists and their work, where the artist moves in and out of a time-suspended “zone” of intense focus. In Youd’s case, however, the artist is present to an audience; the studio is opened up to the observer.

At WAM, Youd will be retyping North Carolina writer Daphne Athas's novel Entering Ephesus. This performance is part of Youd's three-novel retyping cycle in North Carolina this fall. The Hanes Gallery at Wake Forest will be exhibiting a selection of Youd's completed diptychs as well as some of his related paintings and drawings. To learn more, visit here


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