My visual, audio and literary stuff is free here, but my hold-in-your-hands books, prints, and CDs cost real money. If you want to buy something tactile from me, contact me at stujenks at gmail dot com, or message me on Facebook. If you simply want to look and read for free, that's fine too, but don't hesitate to send me your sofa change. My snail mail address is P.O. Box 161, Tucson, Arizona 85702. Keep those cards and letters coming. And sofa change too. Love and light, Stu.
"Leashed" from 1978, and Joseph Beuys at Newgrange from 1974...
Leashed: A Performance Piece by Stu Jenks, 608 Airport Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (c) 1978, 2016
(with Manfred the Wonder Dog at my feet. Inspired by the German artist Joseph Beuys.)
1) Find a good length of heavy jute rope. At least 15 feet long.
2) Tie one end around your waist, the other to the front porch.
3) Don't speak for 12 hours.
4) Stay tied up for 12 hours.
5) Play with Manfred The Wonder Dog from time to time.
6) Pee around the side of the house as needed.
7) Hope roommates bring you beer and food. Don't tell roommates before hand what you are doing. Smile when they laugh at you.
8) Have 35 mm camera around, loaded with Kodachrome slide film. Have 8mm movie camera close by as well. Silently give cameras to friends and roommates and beseech them, without words, to photograph and film you. Document fully the next 12 hours.
9) After 12 hours, untie self and go get ice cream with your girlfriend.
10) Develop slide film and movie film.
11) Show slides to your art teacher within a week. Show movie to your art class soon thereafter. Talk about the idea that we all are the ones who leash ourselves to things, that we are responsible for our own limitations.
12) Get a grade from your teacher.
"Joseph Beuys at Newgrange", 1974, photographer unknown.
I was a big fan of Joseph Beuys at the time of this piece. Still love Joe's work, even though I am fully aware he created much of his own life's story out of whole cloth. No sense letting the truth get in the way of a good myth of being healed of your war wounds by nomadic Tatar tribesmen. I loved his vision and his willingness to bring ecology and a love of the Earth into Contemporary Art.
Regarding my piece "Leashed," I now believe that there are many factors, other than ourselves, that limit humans in this world: race, gender, poverty, illness, nationality, religion, many outside, uncontrollable factors, but at the time, I was trying to think big thoughts and reason out the world. Not bad for a kid from the suburbs, but not great either. But I was trying. In 1978, I had little idea of the privileges I had, being the white son of an IBM middle manager. I now know that by being white and male in America, I was born on second base. Add being middle class puts me on third, ready to steal home.
Fun fact: I was silent for all 12 hours except for one slip, when I said to a roommate out of the blue something like, 'I agree with you.' All five of us on the porch that night feel silent, then all my friends laughed. I simply smiled and felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed a lot of the time back then.