I Am Making Art

1971, 18:40 min, b&w, sound

In an ironic reference to body art, process art and performance, Baldessari challenges definitions of the content and execution of art-making. Performing with deadpan precision, he moves his hands, arms and entire body in studied, minute motions, intoning the phrase "I am making art" with each gesture. Each articulation of the phrase is given a different emphasis and nuance, as if art were being created from moment to moment. This index of body movements is ironically offset by the repetitive monotony of the exercise. Although Baldessari demurs from calling himself a performer — "I think performance for me is a little bit too hot an activity" — his "anti-performance" is nonetheless the core of this work.

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