Rachel Kalpana James, Shelfie (2014)

Rachel Kalpana James, READ ME at PDA Projects

November 13 - 22, 2014
PDA Projects
361 - 4 Elgin Street 

The performance begins Thursday November 13, 2014 and runs during the gallery hours:  

SUNDAY: 10 - 2

Thursday November 20, 2014
7 - 10 pm


Walk into someone’s home, and you can tell a lot about that person by the books on their shelf, or can you? Does it matter if the owner has read those books, or not?
“Read Me” is an extreme reading performance where the contemplative act of reading can be seen and experienced by the viewer. Rachel Kalpana James will treat reading as a regular ‘9 to 5’ job as a way to challenge and question the growing societal decline of reading books. Within PDA Projects, a scene is set: a carpet, two chairs, and two bookcases. One shelves the books James has read. The other bookcase holds those that she has not yet read. Reading is often done in private and rarely deliberately watched by an audience. During gallery hours, Rachel Kalpana James will read the unread books. At the end of each ‘workday’ she will then go home. Although, the act of performing will make the reader more self-conscious, viewers may participate and sit with James and read one of her books, or they can read along virtually in real time with the artist- A camera will capture each page as she reads and it will be projected onto the wall. Rachel Kalpana James’ performance is an act of endurance. The participation of the public engaging directly with the books, or through the projection, highlight how we read. Today we face new information technologies and electronic trends that move us towards a diminishing engagement with books. A final interaction with “Read me”- some viewers will come to their own conclusions about the artist from the choice of the books on the two shelves.