Archivist-in-Residence Alejandro T. Acierto presents:
“I have a little time, you know, time to kill, time to kill.”
—Thomas Kong in an interview with Dan Miller, 2015
“Throughout the month of July, I’ve had some time to kill, which is also to say that I’m waiting to leave, waiting to be elsewhere, and killing time with Thomas Kong. Suspended in time, I sort through Kong’s work, finding moments where he’s done the same: layers of one-inch pieces of tape keep leaves from changing color, holding their shape, and preventing future damage. Removed from natural processes of decomposition, and placed out of time, Kong saves fragments of his world for the tests of time, from being elsewhere, and staying here. Here, in this uncertain time, Kong saves moments for us that would otherwise be forgotten, moments that need to be here later.
For me, the archivist with finite time (as any archivist might say), I can only intervene at this point in time, intervene on what Kong’s work says about time, on what his work can do for time, even in the limited time I have left here before I’m elsewhere.
Here, I am tasked to kill time.
With him, I wonder how to preserve moments like his, moments before I leave, moments for later. How do I begin to keep moments in a time of uncertainty?
In this time with Kong, I wonder how to begin preserving a different future, how to collect what is needed, how to keep what is there later for here now. I want to kill time to restore the pace of accelerative terror. I want to slow down. Breathe. Tend to our wounds and prevent time from taking its toll. And so in the interest of time, which is to say here, in this time, I am reaching for the future.
But for now, we must kill time together.”
—Alejandro T. Acierto
The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food is an experimental project space and repository for thousands of collage and assemblage works made by artist Thomas Kong over the past decade. Housed in an adapted storage room behind the convenience store Kong manages in Rogers Park, The Back Room began as a collaboration between Kong and artist Dan Miller in 2015, with ongoing assistance from Nathan Abhalter Smith.
Since October 2015 The Back Room has invited artists and thinkers whose practices intersect with Kong’s in various ways to produce a series of public exhibitions, events and performances in the space. These projects each proceed from a horizontal engagement with Kong’s unique art practice and working context, and are intended to develop conversations around the art field’s relationship to production, visibility, history, hierarchy and value.
The Back Room Residencies is a six-month-long series of residencies in The Back Room, running from May through October 2018. These four residencies, made possible by our 2017 Propeller Fund grant, are conceived as platforms for experimental responses to the ongoing project of The Back Room, and its unique context in the realm of Kim’s Corner Food and Thomas Kong’s practice.
The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food is open during advertised events and by appointment. To make an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on The Back Room: http://thomaskong.biz/thebackroom/
Visit Thomas Kong’s website: http://thomaskong.biz/
Regrettably, Kim’s Corner Food and The Back Room are not wheelchair accessible