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Blind Time (Grief) by Robert Morris


  • Audio Description

Morris is interested in the conceptual and physical outcomes to be gained from a temporarily blind state.

He too believes that the West is obsessed with the idea that to know reality through space, place and objects must be analogous to visual perception. Morris started making his Blind Time drawings in the wake of Marcel Duchamp’s trajectory, where he famously devalued and thus stigmatized what he called “retinal” art, and traditional painting was abandoned. Both de Groot and Morris had, and continue to have, a long-standing relationship to blinding, and while neither of them identify as blind, they have both worked intimately with individuals or groups who are blind or visually impaired.

In his writing on Morris’s work, Donald Davidson has suggested that the reason for Morris’ long-term interest in the blinding process was his “ambition for, and search to find, a basis for drawing other than straightforward representation on the one hand and the nonrepresentational on the other.” What can be seen with closed eyes? Can what we see through closed eyes be different to what the blind person sees?

Blind Time (Grief) IV, 2009
Powdered pigment, usually mixed with plate oil on acid free rag paper
96,5 x 127 cm.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.
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Image text
‘Given: the page, the black, the red, the secure blindfold, the three marked off areas, the numbers, and 8 years of US military aggression in the Middle East, during which time the interventionist strategy has moved from a declared intention to establish a new world order to a global war on terror to counter-insurgency.

Working blindfolded with burnt sienna touches are made in the upper area while thinking of the uncounted civilian deaths resulting from the conflict. Then with mars black the hands attempt to count off some 3000 touches in the estimated marked of areas while thinking of the US military deaths. Before reaching this number I lose count and the mars black is depleted.’

Listen to audio description of Blind Time (Grief) IV, 2009
Download audio description in word of Blind Time (Grief) IV, 2009.

Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) V, 2009.
Powdered pigment, usually mixed with plate oil on acid free rag paper
96,5 x 127 cm.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.
View Image

Image text
‘Given: the page, the black, the red, the number, the secure blindfold, and 8 years of US military aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and maiming’s, the waste of trillions of dollars, and a general devastation of infrastructure. America’s strategic goals – having shifted from an avowed intention to establish a new world order to a global war on terror to counter-insurgency –

have yielded mayhem and destabilisation, not to mention an exponential increase in terrorists who hate an America addicted to imperialistic foreign wars.

Working blindfolded with burnt sienna the hands rub around a $100 dollar bill, passing it from hand to hand across the estimated top and side areas, in the attempt to mark out a triumphal arch. Then with mars black the hands attempt to touch out a death’s head in the lower central region of the page.’

Listen to audio description of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) V, 2009.
Download audio description in word of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) V, 2009.

Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) VI, 2009.
Powdered pigment, usually mixed with plate oil on acid free rag paper
96,5 x 127 cm.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.
View Image

Image text
‘Given: the page, the black, the red, the gray, the secure blindfold and the three classes involved in America’s perpetual foreign wars: (I) the profiting overclass, (2) the underclass who absorb the wounds, and (3) the dead.

Let the sky box above represent the safe, untouchable zone of the overclass for whom war is patriotism, glory and profit. Let the zone immediately below the sky box be reserved for the maimed underclass who have fought, the lower ground box, the inverse of the upper one, be regarded as a kind of collective zone of forgotten war dead.

Working blindfolded with graphite in the upper area the blackened hands pass a one-hundred dollar bill back and forth within the estimated safe zone. The one hand pulling the bill from the other. Then working in the estimated mid area with burnt sienna the first three fingers of the left hand and the last three of the right rotate together from left to right across the page. Finally in the lowest area closed fists hammer across the page with mars black each blow on top of the previous one with the intention of obliterating any possibility of a later total count.’

Listen to audio description of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) VI, 2009.
Download audio description in word of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) VI, 2009.

Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XI, 2009.
Powdered pigment, usually mixed with plate oil on acid free rag paper
96,5 x 127 cm.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.
View Image

Image text
‘Given: the page, the black, the one hundred dollar bill, the secure blindfold, and the secure dominance of the overclass and the dictatorship of money, the kitsch spectacles installed to numb the underclass, and the consequent diminution of that loitering time required to produce culture, and the question arises: where to resist?

Working blindfolded a one hundred dollar bill is dropped on the right side and caressed with blackened fingers. The bill is then raised and dropped again, somewhere to the left of the first instance; the hands search it out again caress it, this time with more pressure. The process is repeated seven times as the caresses transition to blows as the bill reaches the left.’

Listen to audio description of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XI, 2009.
Download audio description in word of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XI, 2009.

Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XII, 2009.
Powdered pigment, usually mixed with plate oil on acid free rag paper
96,5 x 127 cm.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.
View Image

Image text
‘Given: the page, the graphite, the secure blindfold, and a nation fallen between the dictatorship of money and the feeding of its great military killing machine, between trashing the needy and bowing to the powerful, between numbing spectacle and lost values.

Working blindfolded with graphite the hands move from the lower to the upper area with a fading intensity of touches.’

Listen to audio description of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XII, 2009.
Download audio description in word of Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XII, 2009.

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Detail from Blind Time (Grief) IV, 2009
Image courtesy by Robert Morris, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Spruth Magers

What can be seen with closed eyes?

RMO_Blind_Time_V_Grief_hi_680x384

Blind Time (Grief) V, 2009
Image courtesy by Robert Morris, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Spruth Magers

Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) VI, 2009.

Detail from Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) VI, 2009.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Spruth Magers.

Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.

Detail from Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XI, 2009.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Spruth Magers.

Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Sprüth Magers.

Detail from Robert Morris, Blind Time (Grief) XII, 2009.
Image courtesy by the artist, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and Spruth Magers.

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