The Administrator and the Artist

The Administrator and the Artist 

Diagram Contract I constructed the following situation for the 2013 MFA Open Studios event: I placed stanchions along the outside wall of my studio, creating a queue of visitors waiting to enter the space. Standing with my back to the closed studio door, I greeted the person at the front of the line and handed them an Agreement for their review and signature (fig. 1). The Agreement outlined a three-party reorientation of roles and required the following: that the Model [the visitor] 1.) remain in the space designated for the Model by the Administrator [Alex Bogdanov] 2.) not photograph the Artist 3.) not touch the Artist. After the Model and the Administrator signed the Agreement, the Administrator verified with the Model that s/he was at least 18 years of age and whether or not s/he had any sharp objects on his or her person [if s/he did, the Administrator took these for safe-keeping].
Once these formalities were arranged, the Administrator opened the studio door and, gesturing inside, directed the Model to stand on an outline of two generic footprints pasted onto the floor of the studio. The Administrator then entered through the doorway and, navigating the tight quarters to shut the door, momentarily stepped in front of and in direct eye-contact with the Model (fig. 2).
The model found him/herself in a tight, white space. Behind the Model was a white wall, three feet in front of the Model was a floor-to-ceiling white curtain, to the right was another floor-to-ceiling white curtain and to the left was the shut studio door, with the Administrator blocking the Model’s path to it (fig. 3).
The Administrator then set a timer for three minutes, reminded the Model not to move away from his/her designated space, and swiftly slid open the curtain in front of the Model. The Model was instantly blinded by two 1,400 watt utility lights towering on either side of a nude woman seated at the opposite end of the studio (twelve feet away – down a narrow corridor of floor-to-ceiling white curtains). Upon exposure to the Model, the Artist began to rapidly sketch the Model.
While the Artist studied the Model from the frontal view, the Administrator studied the Model, in immediate proximity, from the profile view. Neither the Administrator nor the Artist responded to the Model’s inquiries. The Administrator shouted out a time warning when one minute remained, thirty seconds remained, and then again, calling “time,” at which point he slid the white curtain shut in front of the Model, thanked the Model and let him or her out of the studio. This process was repeated over the course of three and a half hours.
The Administrator had contracted a female Artist – an LA based artist who responded to a Craigslist posting – for $45 per hour of Artistic Labor. The Contract spelled out the terms of Artistic Labor and mandated that the Artist was not to respond to the Model, nor to show to the Model the product of her Artistic Labor. Also as per the Contract, the Artist surrendered exclusive rights to the product of her Artistic Labor during the event to the Administrator. The Administrator has no intention of sharing the products of that Labor with the Models.