The Perfect Journey (after James Lee Byars)

60 years ago, “the creator of art that lived in a moment” American artist James Lee Byars hitchhiked from his hometown of Detroit to New York City, hoping to meet the renowned painter Mark Rothko, whose sublime work had made a lasting impression on Byars. Transfixed by the idea of perfection, and influenced by Zen and Noh rituals, Byars was a master of transforming abstract thought into action, shaping his persona and career into a continuous performance. 

Taking Byar’s artistic practice and persona as points of departure, participants in Trojanska’s ride will collectively attempt the futile act of drawing a circle in the great geometric grid that is Manhattan. Beginning and ending at 222 Bowery, the site of Rothko’s studio in 1957 when Byars arrived in NYC, riders will senselessly “circle the square” of the city’s grid—a utopic and liberating gesture that allows the group (collectively and alone) to re-appropriate and re- define the outline of the urban landscape. As with Byars’ works, a circle not only represents a perfect geometrical shape that carries symbolic value, but it represents what’s ephemeral and often intimate; so too, in Trojanska’s ride, the circle disrupts the functional logic of the urban grid, revealing a mutable space for introspection and exchange. 

At the start of the ride, each rider will receive hand-made pieces of paper, on which they will be asked to reflect on their experiences, thoughts, and ideas (or their lack thereof) throughout the ride. Stopping four times at pre-determined locations, riders will write, draw, and respond to their experiences. At the conclusion of the ride, participants will be asked to give their notes to Trojanska who will then compose the collective reflections into a small edition book. Copies of the book will be mailed to each ride participant.

| ← Previous | | | Next → |