30 Seconds off an Inch is a major international multimedia exhibition that brings together the work of forty-two artists, ranging in age from twenty-five to seventy-two, all of whom challenge ideas of what art can be. Rather than employing traditional art materials, they make use of objects found in everyday life, including hair, rocks, refuse and clothing. Often unpolished, the work in 30 Seconds collages together different media, blurring distinctions between painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance and installation. The conceptual art in this show makes use of non-art materials to encourage viewers to think outside of the gallery, in the world where the materials originated.
The bridging of art and life is part of the legacy of the mid-century neo-avant-garde movements, and the works in 30 Seconds demonstrate the immediacy of Japanese Gutai, the bodily investment of Brazilian Neoconcretism, the playfulness of Fluxus and the material experimentation of Italian Arte Povera. The artists assembled in the exhibition—artists of color and those inspired by black culture—engage black culture and history with a spirit of play and irreverence to present new ways of thinking of culture and identity.
30 Seconds off an Inch includes the work of Adel Abdessemed, Edgar Arceneaux, Jabu Arnell, Sanford Biggers, Kabir Carter, William Cordova, Thierry Fontaine, Charles Gaines, My Barbarian, Deborah Grant, Rashawn Griffin, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, Leslie Hewitt, Wayne Hodge, Rashid Johnson, Jennie C. Jones, Jayson Keeling, Simone Leigh, Glenn Ligon, Dave McKenzie, Nicole Miller, Kori Newkirk, Chris Ofili, Demetrius Oliver, Karyn Olivier, John Outterbridge, Cliff Owens, Akosua Adoma Owusu, William Pope.L, Michael Queenland, Robin Rhode, Jimmy Robert, Nadine Robinson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Gary Simmons, Xaviera Simmons, Shinique Smith, Soda_Jerk, Kianja Strobert, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Nari Ward.
Below, hear a selection of artists from 30 Seconds off an Inch discuss their work in the exhibition.
- Album: The Studio Museum in Harlem
- Track: Glenn Ligon, Excerpt 1:05