124,908 by Tara McDowell, with photography by Daro Sulakauri, experiments with how to document exhibitions in an embodied way. It deals with an exhibition that unfolded throughout the postindustrial city of Rustavi in the Republic of Georgia, in conjunction with the 2nd Tbilisi Triennial. The exhibition was titled for Rustavi’s population – 124,908 – and featured works by Xin Cheng, Leone Contini, Eliza Dyball, Clementine Edwards, George Egerton-Warburton, Cevdet Erek, Debris Facility, Emma Fitts, Amy Franceschini, Helen Grogan, Susan Jacobs, Ash Kilmartin, Ieva Misevičiūtė, Virginia Overell, and Kateřina Šedá. Echoing the model of Lucy R. Lippard’s numbers exhibitions from the early 1970s, Tara McDowell and assistant curator Nicholas Tammens invited artists to propose temporary artworks, which were installed in the city center, factory square, museum, theaters, pyramid and zoo, working with local artists, students, and Rustavi residents.
The images within the publication 124,908 were taken by photojournalist Daro Sulakauri over a single day (October 3, 2015) of the exhibition. The fragmented text that intersperses this image narrative reflects the fractured, time-skipping nature of the project’s composition. Lucy R. Lippard has reacted to the project as the “best understood account” of her numbers exhibitions, but 124,908 could also be characterised as facing the impossibilities of re-curation.
- Launched 1 May 2016 @ Melbourne Art Book Fair, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.