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Jordan Wayne Long inside his crate for Box Shipment #2, 2011
Jordan Wayne Long inside his crate for Box Shipment #2, 2011

ARTIST IN A CRATE

July 1, 2011

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Would formalist maestro Clement Greenberg have approved of an artwork about art shipping whose form and content was produced by packing an artist in a shipping crate and sending it across country by truck?

Well, you can try to ask performance artist Jordan Wayne Long, who is locking himself inside a metal shipping crate in Bald Knob, Ark., today as the first step, via that crate, on a claustrophobic seven-day journey to Portland, Ore. He is not, however, undertaking this journey via DHL or Federal Express -- spurning a potential promotional opportunity -- but rather has hired a private carter. His friend Bradi Roberts is driving the truck.

But the crate is still a tight fit. Long has not left himself room to stretch out his legs, but he can recline and play Lord of the Rings Online -- the only form of outside communication he’s allowing himself. Among the few items he’s packing are 28 protein bars, a bottle of Vitamin D, fans, aspirin and two air-sealed waste containers.

Well, do we remember that Lou Reed song about a lovelorn bloke who packs himself up inside a crate and ships it to the object of his affections, only to have her become frustrated by the impenetrability of the packing and take a kitchen knife to the whole thing, slashing container and contents to bloody shreds.

So we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for Long a week from today, when his arrival performance, Box Shipment #2, July 7, 2011, takes place at Portland’s Fourteen 30 Contemporary gallery.

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