In 1971, the Nova Scotia College of Art invited John Baldessari to make an exhibition of his work in their gallery. The college did not have the funds to pay for Baldessari to travel to Halifax however, so the artist proposed that the art students there become his surrogate. Taking on the punishment he felt he should receive for not being there, they covered the walls with the sentence “I will not make any more boring art”, writing in columns stretching from floor to ceiling, for the duration of the exhibition. The graffiti-like action that constituted Baldessari’s exhibition reflected his dissatisfaction with the state of painting in the early 1970s, and his interest in language-based performative actions and conceptual ideas that could be realized by others was a hallmark of early conceptual art.
For Off the Wall: Part 1—Thirty Performative Actions, the art students pictured below are re-performing this laborious task for the first time since 1971. Performances take place regularly in the Museum’s second floor galleries.