Live Transmission
A wall drawing
By Morgan O’Hara
April 2-23rd 2010

Morgan O’Hara’s Live Transmission drawings track, in real time, the vital movement of living beings, transcending both figuration and abstraction, executing a direct neural translation from one human action into another. Drawing methodically with multiple razor-sharp pencils and both hands, as time-based performance, O’Hara condenses movement into accumulations of graphite lines which combine the controlled refinement of classical drawing with the unbound sensuality of spontaneous gesture. Time-space coordinates for each drawing are described with great precision in the titles.

The source for this site-specific wall drawing was a pencil drawing done in Japan in 2001. The situation took place in Kid Ailack Hall in Tokyo where 40 performance artists were walking through their performances in a large stage area, identifying places where props were to be placed, where lighting technicians needed to place a spotlight, where and when technicians were to produce sound for each performance. O’Hara sat alone in the audience area and drew the movement of all these proceedings, tracking each person as he or she crossed and re-crossed the stage area. She made one large drawing of all observable movement for four hours in that space.

For this site, the 2001 stage-blocking drawing was photographed, downloaded into a computer, printed in sections, copied onto acetate and projected in sections onto the walls of the LAB using an overhead projector. The work progressed from left to right. Thirty volunteers from Fordham University, the School of Visual Arts, artsengine, LAB supporters, and occasional passersby assisted Morgan O’Hara with the painting. The modus operandi was to paint black the spaces between the lines, allowing the lines to emerge on their own from the white walls.

A site-specific wall drawing is a drawing which is done specifically for a particular space. Concept, scale, proportion and architectural elements must all be taken under careful consideration. This particular drawing was selected by O’Hara from among many possibilities as the best one for this particular space. In the nearby theatre district of New York as well as in the many concert halls not far from the Roger Smith Hotel, preparations for performance are taking place every day. It is hoped that this drawing will call attention to the many unnoticed backstage activities which support the performing arts.

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