Autumn Knight’s Nothing #26: The Potential of Nothing is Everything (wallach) at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery closes on Sunday, March 12. This solo exhibition — referencing Jenny Odell’s 2019 book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy — hovers between the exploration of and reflection on the Italian phrase, dolce far niente or “the sweetness of doing nothing.” An experimental and multidisciplinary project, the installations throughout the gallery include new videos accompanied by wallpaper derived from drawings, a series of polaroids with images of the artist’s performances, object compositions, digital drawings, and a rotating platform.
Knight’s video works aim to reflect an exploration of nothingness in separate moments with various objects handled in ways that reject the labor of meaning. As a practice, she tends to use found materials within a given environment to produce collaged moments that make available individualized constructions of meaning for the viewers who choose that labor. Chosen for their ease of access, the objects — a deflated balloon, a record turntable, and a puppet — assist in bringing to life a conversation between inertia, liveness, and sweetness. The objects are accompanied by new texts — observations, small poems, little plays, facts, and prose — written during Knight’s visits and residencies in Kingston, Jamaica; Venice, Italy; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nothing #26 intends to operate as a companion to concepts explored in over a decade of the artist’s live performances, where the content performs the labor of anticipation and curiosity is driven by open-ended dialogue with audiences.
Knight is the recipient of the Rome Prize (2021–2022) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2022). Her work has been presented at various institutions including The Studio Museum of Harlem; Institute for Contemporary Art (VCU), Richmond, Virginia; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Akademie der Kunst, Berlin; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; American Academy of Rome; On the Boards, Seattle; Abrons Arts Center, New York; The Kitchen, New York; and Shedhalle, Zurich.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.
To learn more, visit wallach.columbia.edu.
Nothing #26: The Potential of Nothing is Everything (wallach), an immersive gallery-wide installation, was commissioned by the Wallach Art Gallery. These exhibition programs are made possible with support from the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Endowment Fund, the Charina Endowment Fund, and the gallery’s patrons.