Continuing the tenuous thread I’ve begun to weave, today’s post concerns Eve Essex, an artist I’ve been interested in since she was a resident with the Berwick Research Institute in Boston, MA. One of her recent projects is a reenactment of British composer Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra. Cardew formed the Orchestra in the 1960s, bringing together professional musicians and amateurs to play non-traditional, group-created scores as a form of social activism. Eve’s reenactments of the original Scratch Orchestra rehearsals ask participants to operate in the present and past at the same time, realizing a forty-year-old utopian vision. Is this an antidote for political apathy or a caricature of earnestness? Eve calls it “theater” — does that make it more or less genuine (or neither)? I’m interested to know if anyone else sees a relationship between this project and Stuart Sherman’s inscrutable performances, detailed in my first post.