Complete Mind

Review by Sam Truitt of Hannah Wiener's Open House

"Complete Mind"
@ American Book Review, Lineonline (search "truitt")
(Vol. 29, No. 5, July/August 2008)
Review of Hannah Weiner's Open House
Edited & Introduced by Patrick F. Durgin

An artistic statement accompanying the announcement for “Hannah Weiner at Her Job,” a 1970 performance series, begins: “My life is my art. I am my object, a product of the process of self-awareness.” The performances took place in New York’s Garment District where she then worked part-time as a lingerie designer and consisted of a sale of such garments on three successive Wednesdays in March. The piece had to do with the making (and so poeticizing) of a living: “Art is live people,” she writes. “The bikini pants I make sell for 49¢ and $1.00. If things can’t be free, they should be as cheap as possible. Why waste time and energy to make expensive products that you waste time and energy to afford?” Following a short professional biography, listing the sites for her Code Poem Events (pieces enlisting nautical International Signal Code Flags), the announcement gives a phone number, “for further information.” At 8:32 AM, Monday, June 18, 2007 (37 years and some months late), I tried it, and a machine answered in the voice of a seemingly young woman, and reiterating the phone number went on: “If you’d like to leave a message after the beep, please do so. Thank you.” (I did this so that you wouldn’t have to.)

To write about Hannah Weiner is overwhelming...

Read the entire review as a PDF.