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Press Release

February 3, 2008


Conner Contemporary Art at ARCO 2008 
International Art Fair, Madrid, Spain 
February 13 – 19, 2008


Marker (Madrid) | performed by Mary Coble
Saturday, February 16, 2008 from 12: 30 to 3:30 pm
ARCO Performance Stage – Hall 14

Conner Contemporary Art is delighted to participate in ARCO 2008, Performing ARCO sector, presenting Marker (Madrid), a live work by Washington, DC based performance artist Mary Coble. Performing ARCO is the fair's new sector, curated by Lois Keidan, Director, Live Art Development Agency, Rochelle School, London, UK and Berta Sichel, Director, Departamento de Audiovisuales, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.


Coble will perform Marker (Madrid) on Saturday, February 16, 2008 from 12: 30 to 3:30 pm on the ARCO Performance Stage – Hall 14. In this audience-interactive performance, viewers are invited to write on the artist's body derogatory words that have been used against them, or slurs that they have used or heard used against others, while the artist stands motionless on the stage.


Coble developed the concept for this performance in Marker (New York) 2006, where visitors emulated physical and verbal assaults endured by marginalized groups by writing hate-inspired epithets such as 'dyke,' 'spic,' or 'nigger' on her body. She discovered that many participants commemorated their own painful experiences by inscribing words in various languages. The artist reflected that, by making her body available for these expressions, she elicited actions from a diverse gathering of people. Coble expanded this community of participants by performing Marker (DC) in Washington, DC in July 2007.


The artist now hopes to provide ARCO visitors with an opportunity to express their personal memories in Marker (Madrid). The international dynamic of this important cultural venue will act as a catalyst in forming a collective history of the reclamation of hateful speech.


Coble's recent performances include Binding Ritual, Daily Routine for Performa '05 at Artist's Space, New York, NY (curated by Christian Rattemeyer), Gender Mask (Becoming), a performance at the Brooklyn Museum of Art , Brooklyn, NY presented in conjunction with Global Feminisms (curated by Linda Nochlin and Maura Reilly ) and Note to Self 2005 performed at Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, DC. The documentation from the Note to Self performance is in the permanent collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.


To reach the artist or gallery during ARCO: 202 256 7281 /