Kevin Brophy (Tampa, FL / Pittsburgh, PA) + Rosa Nussbaum (Austin, TX)
Southern Constellations Fellows. February 2019. Performance video documentation displayed inside sculpture. 13 min 44 secs. Museum collection fabric, thread, stuffing, books; programmed Raspberry Pi with video.

Brophy and Nussbaum’s Keeping Young & Living Longer: How to stay Active & Healthy past 100, or How to avoid Life Shortening Errors (Full Title) is a series of performative texts in the form of humorous video vignettes and mock instructional animations. These videos are informed by the source texts: Keeping Young and Living Longer, Wolf: Cub Scout Book, McCall’s April 1960 issue, and the article “A Pox on your Husband’s Ego,” as well as a few others from the museum collection. This media is installed in Elsewhere’s Library amongst a collection of books curated by the artists and discreetly housed within a fabricated surrogate of the book titled Face to Face.

The impetus of this work stemmed from an analysis of the rhetoric of the museum, explicitly that of the library. Much of the books mined for this project range in intended audience, from children to senior citizens, and date back to the 1960-80s. The language used is gendered, infantilizing, and ageist: somewhat offensive. With a critical eye, the artists saw a Youth-Cult and a Wife-Pet, among other things. They begged the question: What culture do we uphold? What do we archive without discernment?

Project In Response To: Elsewhere Library




Documentation of props fabricated for videos and live performance during opening exhibition. Photo credit: Shameeka Davis-Dunning and Amelia Nura.