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On Kawara: Carpe Diem

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Sharon Butler blogs about On Kawara-Silence, curated by Jeffrey Weiss with Anne Wheeler, on view at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, through May 3, 2015.

Butler writes: "Unlike artists today, Kawara eschewed the limelight, even skipping his own openings because attending them would interrupt what he envisioned as a lifelong performance – tracking a single life, lived unremarkably. Rooted in the groundbreaking 1960s Conceptual Art practices developed by artists such as John Baldessari and Sol Lewitt, Fluxus, and Ray Johnson, Kawara’s work seems both to anticipate and to challenge the contemporary narcissism played out across social networking media. Where we err on the side of oversharing, Kawara was dedicated to undersharing. He provides simple details – what time he got up, where he went, whom he met – but no more. In the absence of a fuller story about him, we tend to look for ourselves in his work."

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