One Million Years (Past and Future) Press Release

Dates

January 6—February 3, 2001

Opening on Tuesday January 9, 2001, David Zwirner and Zwirner & Wirth will present the work of On Kawara. This will be the artist's second one-person exhibition with David Zwirner, and his first at Zwirner & Wirth.

The exhibition One Million Years (Past and Future) at David Zwirner is a continuation of the on-going project called One Million Years, which On Kawara started in 1970 with binders of typewritten pages of the Past series, and in 1989 with binders for the Future series. The gallery will exhibit 20 volumes of these typed pages (10 from the Past and 10 from the Future), documenting the passage of chronological time, from 998,031 BC to 1969 AD and from 1996 AD to 1,001,995 AD. Along with these 20 volumes, the artist will exhibit a sound installation featuring 10 CD’s (5 from the Past and 5 from the Future), which are also part of the on-going project One Million Years. These 10 CD’s were produced and recorded by the gallery for this exhibition.

The project One Million Years examines the creation of chronological time, and its function as the measure of our existence. Kawara has also explored these issues in other projects such as the Date Paintings, the binders with newspaper articles entitled I Read (which was shown at the gallery in 1999), and in his postcard projects entitled I am still alive and I got up.

In the sound installation, which the artist has created for this exhibition, visitors to the gallery will be able to experience Kawara’s interpretation of the passage of time by listening to two different recordings; the front gallery will have recordings of the Past, and the rear space will feature recordings of the Future. It is the artist’s intention that the soundtrack for this exhibition will have an almost meditative effect on the gallery’s visitors.

For the Zwirner & Wirth exhibition, the artist will show a group of his Date Paintings from 2000. Kawara started making Date Paintings in 1966, and has been making them in different parts of the world ever since. Each Date Painting is always completed on the date which is painted on the canvas, and each date is always documented in the language and grammatical conventions of the country in which the painting is executed. When a Date Painting is not exhibited, it is placed in a cardboard box custom-made for the painting, which is lined with a clipping from a local newspaper from the city in which the artist made the painting.

A boxed set of the 10 CD’s made for the sound installation at David Zwirner, will be available in a limited edition during the exhibitions at David Zwirner and at Zwirner & Wirth.

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