10/19/11 12.32 PM
I am seriously worried about Mavis Passmore. One half of Frances Williams’s elaborate installation “In and Around the Lamorva Museum of Performance Art Collection with Mavis Passmore” features the fictional character’s disaster of an office, hardly what would be expected of an archivist and curator at a museum of any kind, even that notoriously unruly branch called performance art. Has she been the victim of a burglarious philistine? Are important clues to be found in the spangly mannequin sprawled in the corner — or is it the remnant of an artwork, part of the collection poor Mavis has been tasked with preserving? Some of that collection certainly appears worth maintaining, notably a slapstick video in which a female performer accomplishes a series of basic movements in a room with areas taped off for each task. (Her shaggy black dog fails utterly to read the signs and act accordingly.) The gallery adjacent to Mavis’s office contains a sparse, proper display of artifacts, leading this detective to wonder if the archivist was ultimately done in by an institutional insistence on order.