Dawn Kasper

Video: Dawn Kasper 

Born in 1977 in Fairfax, Virginia
Lives and Works in Los Angeles

Without a permanent studio since 2008, Kasper has developed what she calls her Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment: when invited to participate in an exhibition, she uses the gallery or museum space as her studio. THIS COULD BE SOMETHING IF I LET IT is composed of the entire contents of Kasper’s itinerant studio and much of her bedroom—packed up, shipped to the Whitney, and installed on the third floor of the Museum. Regarding the 2012 Biennial as a full-time job, Kasper is spending every day of its three-month run making new work, holding studio visits, and playing music while the Museum is open to the public.

By settling herself in—complete with props, musical instruments, costumes, make-up, drawings, photographs, and video—as a resident of the Whitney’s third-floor galleries, Kasper has created both a theatrical space and a living sculpture. She observes, “My time in process is very much an important part of my performance work, as is revealing that process publicly.” As she makes traditionally private acts public, Kasper conflates the distinction between preparation and performance, conducting all aspects of her practice in a single space and before an audience. Research, writing, thinking, and studio visits become just as important and worthwhile of viewers’ attention as formal performances and finished artworks. In disclosing her process in a group show for the first time, Kasper is consciously opening herself up to the ways in which the circumstances of her environment, including the Museum’s operating hours and security protocols, audience variations, and the dynamics of other artists’ works on view, will unpredictably impact her practice.