Lucy Pullen is a visual artist based in New York and Victoria. Her work has been shown at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver); Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancover); Khyber Centre the Arts (Halifax); Optica (Montreal); Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco); Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts (San Francisco); Open Space (Victoria); Surrey Art Gallery; Ottawa Art Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Platform (Seattle); and Illingsworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary) among others. She is pursuing a PhD in Media and Communication with the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Pullen is a tenured Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria.
I Would Prefer Not To
February 12–March 21, 2010
Lucy Pullen’s project, I Would Prefer Not To, plays an ineffable game. Occurring between February 12 and March 21 (bracketing the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games), Pullen produced blinds for Artspeak. The blinds, made from a reflective fabric that Pullen has explored extensively in past work, will remain drawn for the 38 cumulative days of the Games. During the day, the blinds appear silvery grey, but in the darkness they will reflect light sources (from street lamps, cars, revelers, protesters) with a blinding brilliance. Both exclusionary and interactive, Pullen’s gesture questions meaningful resistance and indifference. The title borrows from Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (1853), an existential tale of isolation and passive resistance in the mid-century Wall Street environment of New York. The gesture to pull the blinds on Artspeak, making it an impenetrable space, calls into question participation in the social, ethical, and economic conundrums surrounding the Games. Pullen’s accompanying text investigates the idea of a blind spot within the spectacle, positing Artspeak in a position of complicated refusal.