Krakow Witkin Gallery proudly presents a survey of On Kawara's bound book works.
In one sense, each of the works in the show are a compendium of a project, yet Kawara saw them each as a work in of itself. Being aware, present and taking note were active parts of Kawara's daily practice. Retrospection, compilation and juxtaposition were significant actions that Kawara utilised to look both outwardly at the world, its inhabitants and activities, as well as inwardly at his own daily activities.
The first of the projects is One Million Years. This project covers one million years before the conception of the work and one million years after the formulation of the idea of including the future in the project. The work is both incredibly expansive (covering two million years) and specifically concise (bound in two volumes.) The trilogy of I Met, I Went and I Got Up are similarly tight and loose simultaneously, as each 'documents', over a defined period of time, specific actions by the artist. Neither documenting his full life nor every activity of each day, the information serves to both give us specific information and also a 'diving board' with which to think and explore our own lives, as well as history in general.
I Read, the last of the exhibited projects, presents images of detailed collages of newspaper clippings. Stacks, juxtapositions and notes provide subjective additions not seen in the other works. Both the most personal and the most outwardly looking of all the projects, I Read lays plain the daily balance of the internal and external in one's life.
On the exhibition's website is a concise explanation of each work's basic structure. At the gallery, all five projects are on view, as well as additional literature to further explore.
Press release courtesy Krakow Witkin Gallery.