Miles Greenberg “Oysterknife” Jeffrey Deitch / New York

August 6, 2021

Jeffrey Deitch presents a continuous twenty-four-hour screening of Miles Greenberg’s performance Oysterknife (2020). Visitors will be able to experience the artwork inside the space during opening hours and through the glass facade when the gallery is closed.

Oysterknife was originally presented as a live performance in July 2020, live-streamed from inside a black box in Montreal, Canada. In this durational work, Greenberg walked on a conveyor belt for twenty- four consecutive hours without interruption. It was the artist’s most austere and demanding exploration of ritual. Epic in its endurance, introspection and athleticism, the performance is a meditation on the physical and mental limitations of the body, creating space for unmediated automatic movement.

In a story about his work in The New York Times published on March 5, 2021, the artist explains his vision behind the work as follows:
Oysterknife is my love letter to the performance art of the 1970s, and more specifically to the great Black pioneers of endurance such as Senga Nengudi, Pope.L and David Hammons. Endurance work, at a certain point, necessarily involves a degree of spectacle around bodily deterioration. I feel my body being consumed every day. I’m within my comfort zone so long as I have agency over the poetics of that consumption. But here, I wanted to let go of that, just to see what would happen. This is real physical pain — it always is — but this time, that pain isn’t wrapped up in metaphor.

Oysterknife was first presented by the Marina Abramović Institute and is co-produced by the Phi Centre in Montreal.

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