Heather (dictated text): Beatty + Durham

In December 2012, the Lexington artist Robert Beatty and the Kentucky-born, Virginia-based artist Ben Durham presented a collaborative performance at Institute 193.

For years, Durham has been creating a series of detailed graphite portraits that consist entirely of handwritten text. For this performance, he recited the text that makes up Heather (one of his most recent drawings), while Beatty created a live sound improvisation based on a cassette tape recording of the same text.

This text is no longer legible in Durham’s finished, many-layered drawing; the dictated text is indecipherable in Beatty’s manipulated soundtrack. Their multidimensional collaboration examines the transmission of information and the obfuscation of narrative.

Beatty and Durham will present a version of this performance on May 11 at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York City.

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