"Budd made a decision to trust the words given to her and in the best way possible she allowed them to be spoken. The art was rigorous in what it excluded and was exciting in how it mobilised a kind of contradictory reduction. It was not bored."
Extract from Ursula Bloom's forward to The Estate of L. Budd Catalogue of Extant Works (2008)
The Estate of L. Budd now exists as an archive of paintings, films, video, sculpture, documents, and other annotated materials. Since its inception, The Estate has been interested in theories of the archive as a conceptual practice. As it currently exists the archive offers elements that may be combined, adjusted and reconfigured - the archive is open to contemporary alteration and interpretation. This is an archive fixed in terms of its archival documents but not its materiality. An entity questioning the nature of an estate, the conceptual proposition of The Estate of L. Budd is positioned as an art work in itself, one exploring the procedures, possibilities and modes of regulation that govern archives. The existence of such an entity becomes charged with cultural value, responsible for creating a legacy and the promotion of scholarship. But should we take archives at face value? What of the gaps between archives and history - between what is accumulated and authenticated to shape legacy, and what is not?
Upon death the formation of an Estate becomes something of a monument to that artist's practice. Estates intentionally make and un-make public memory, each has a particular perspective, an interpretation of how the artist's practice should be understood, and often a set of values or judgments. Estates can articulate selective historical narratives focusing attention on some aspects or methods of practice while obliterating what is undesired. Intriguingly, discussion around The Estate of L. Budd has seemed to sow ambiguity and misinformation. The Estate does not have a mission or strategic positioning - it is an archive intentionally "without memories" - and embodies a lack of fixity in representational strategy. Like the elusive et al. collective, permutations in the form of artworks are common. Both entities seem to keep one step ahead of comprehension, creating a conceptual terrain of contradiction that questions the artistic authorship and legacy.
Press release courtesy Starkwhite.