New York

Ward Shelley


For his recent project here, Ward Shelley took the mouse as metaphor, built a gallery inside the gallery, and took up residence in the gap between the two. But while most rodents do their best to remain out of sight, Shelley had rigged a complex of cameras, peepholes, and monitors—eight of which were mounted on a wooden post in the center of the inner gallery—so that viewers could witness him scurrying, sleeping, or making art in his new habitat, and he in turn could watch them watching him.

Shelley had made a series of pencil drawings on canvas that scrolled through a hole cut in the inner wall and openly invoked the tradition of the artist living in the gallery or designated performance space. Famous Art You Never Saw (all works 2004) included images of Joseph Beuys’s I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974, in which the German artist lived with a coyote in the René Block Gallery in

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