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The Patient Eye


48-hour performance

The Columbus Museum, Georgia

April 2018

Over the course of 7 days, Jonathan VanDyke stands and silently contemplates 16 historic quilts for 3 hours each. VanDyke chose these graphically dynamic quilts from the museum's collection. These rarely-displayed quilts, some of which have never been on public view, were originally used as functional objects in the domestic sphere, and in many cases their makers are anonymous. The performance takes place within an installation in the museum's central galleria space, offering long views of these objects' aesthetically bold and abstract patterns.

Each quilt is displayed horizontally on a platform, and then pulled up vertically so that viewers can see both its front and back. Open storage racks, and a large table where museum personnel and volunteers fold and unfold these objects, provides public access to aspects of collection management that are typically out of view. Visitors are welcome to stand and sit with the artist during this 48-hour performance, and experience their own version of slow looking. A group of museum volunteers and students from Columbus State University assist the museum's registrarial staff in unfurling, mounting, and folding the quilt collection.

Commissioned by The Columbus Museum and organized by Dr. Jonathan Frederick Walz, Curator

Thank you to students from Columbus State University, under the guidance of Mike McFalls, and to the museum's volunteer corp and to the entire Columbus Museum staff. Special thanks to Curator Jonathan Walz and to Registrar Aimee Brooks

Video compilation from the 48-hour performance

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