BERNADETTE MAYER’S MEMORY, A DISCUSSION @CANADA, 333 Broome Street, September 23, 2017

I attended (and recorded) the panel discussion of Bernadette Mayer’s Memory, a work of art she did in July 1971 that included shooting a roll of film everyday and writing everyday as well recording what was going on around her. She worked like crazy for a month; Holly Soloman paid for developing all the negatives and displayed them in her loft, and Bernadette overwhelmed by what she did found herself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But as Bernadette points out in this discussion, she is someone who never knows when to stop, so giving herself a time limit has helped her more than hindered her throughout her prolific career in getting projects finished.

The show at Canada at 333 Broome Street is a facsimile of the first experience when Holly Soloman displayed the photographs with a recording of Bernadette reading. Two of her children, Marie and Max Warsh curated it. You can hear and read all about it in the links to the Brooklyn Rail and Art Forum. I was surprised and elated when I walked into Canada and saw the photos hanging up on the back wall and heard Bernadette’s voice reading what became the book called Memory, which she published in 1975, a difficult book to get through for sure; perhaps the reader isn’t even ever meant to, but here the book and the photos came together with a pleasant understanding that was, for me anyway, gratifying. This work of Bernadette Mayer belongs in a museum.

The Brooklyn Rail:

Art Forum:

The front and back cover of Memory:

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