At Vassar College in April and May 2018, performance artist Tim Youd retyped The Group by distinguished novelist, essayist, and critic Mary McCarthy (Vassar College, class of 1933). This performance was the 56th novel to be typed in his 100 Novels Project and is one of several that Youd is undertaking in the Hudson Valley during spring and summer 2018. The culmination of these performances is an exhibition in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center focus gallery titled Tim Youd: The Hudson Valley Retyped. The exhibition, on view from August 30 through October 14, 2018, will include a diptych of each novel typed over the summer as well as related drawings and a Remington No. 2, the model typewriter used by Mary McCarthy to type The Group.
A reception including a Q & A with Youd and Art Center curator Mary-Kay Lombino will take place in the galleries on Thursday, September 13, at 5:30pm. Youd will also begin retyping The Complete Poems: 1927–1979 by Elizabeth Bishop (Vassar class of 1934) that evening. Galleries are open until 9pm on Thursdays.
Employing the same make and model typewriter used by the author, Youd types each novel on a single sheet of paper, which is backed by an additional support sheet. The artist loads the two-ply paper through the typewriter repeatedly, until the entire novel has been retyped. As the typing progresses, the top sheet becomes saturated with ink and perforated from overuse, while the sheet underneath becomes embossed from indentation. Upon completion, the two pages are separated and mounted side by side as a framed diptych, recalling two pages of an open book with the words obscured. The diptych remains as a relic of the performance that embodies the novel, even though it is completely illegible.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY. For more information or directions, visit fllac.vassar.edu or call 845-437-5237.
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