The paper discusses some of the aspects raised during the case study Expand/Contract (2009), specifically the competing formats of event and exhibition and strategies employed for their documentation.Central to this discussion is the notion of public : public of the event, public of the exhibition, and public of its documentation.
In The event , published in the On Day Sculpture catalogue (2009), Mick Wilson, when discussing the art as event [in the public domain] renegotiation of the terms of address , speaks of formation of contingent, accidental, emergent public. These clusters of public are made by those who encounter the work among the everyday, but also, as Wilson suggests, by those who actively affirm that the work exists and that the work matters, that it is of consequence in some way.
However, Wilson doesn t discuss how does that active affirmation takes place.A traditional mechanism for affirmation and legitimisation of artworks is the exhibition and complementing strategies such as catalogues, which development as been strongly influenced by commercial priorities. When the work takes the shape of an event, something that passes into being and passes out of being again without resolving into a discrete thingly object as such (Wilson 2009), it is the experience that is at the core of such work. The active affirmation that the work exists and it matters becomes story telling.
Drawing from Chris Burden s performance White Light/White Heat and its documentation/catalogue, this paper discusses post-event publications as a vehicle for story/rumour dissemination as opposed to statement/content settlement.