Since 2019 Lydia Rosenberg has been writing a novel-as-sculpture: a project consisting of a
written narrative that emphasizes the description and movement of objects. Characters in the novel
serve as collaborators in conceptualizing sculptures based on the written narrative in which they
act. Previous exhibitions connected to this project have featured those sculptures based on excerpts
of the novel. For Incomplete Objects, the fifth iteration, Rosenberg is pursuing the form of serial fiction as
a way to develop the text itself, as a sculpture.
The gallery at Labor is a Medium will become the mail-room: the fictional office of the publisher of the novel-in-progress. For the duration of the exhibition, subscribers to the project mailing list will receive weekly unique versions of the existing four chapters of the novel-as-sculpture. Subscribers are invited to return their chapters with edits and suggestions, to be recorded in the final version(s) of the novel. Each week, a copy of all versions to date will be presented at the mailroom table.
Visitors may subscribe in person at Labor is a Medium.
Lydia Rosenberg is an artist currently based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a co-founder of Anytime Dept. an artist-run exhibition project, currently on pause, which was based in Cincinnati, OH. Recent solo exhibitions include The complete subject at Napoleon, Philadelphia—featuring several hundred sculptures in the shape of lemons based on written descriptions of the fruit as depicted in paintings—and Spaghetti Restaurant at BasketShop Gallery, Cincinnati, for which she transformed the gallery into a pop-up, cost-free spaghetti-restaurant-as-sculpture. In 2023 she had solo exhibitions continuing her ongoing project of writing a novel-as-sculpture in Pittsburgh at Mattress Factory Museum, the chute, and here gallery.
Labor is a Medium (LiaM) sprouted from several seeds, among them a simple thing my wife Emily and I referred to as "Pizza Club." Pizza Club was us making pizza for our friends, many of whom never knew they were being indoctrinated into our own secret society. LiaM took shape out of a desire to create a space for us—Emily and I—to connect to and build community here in Santa Rosa, a city we left for a decade and returned to in 2019. To do that, we offer up what we have: a little bit of space, a little bit of time, and food. The pizza is always free.
Launched in 2022, LiaM presents exhibitions by three artists per year. Each is invited to exhibit one work on a roughly 6'x7' free-standing wall in our garage. In inviting artists I try to make clear the limits and possibilities of this experiment, and I articulate that the definition of "a work" is, well, undefined. It might be in progress; plans and ideas; instructions; an empty space; a string tied to a katydid; something half-finished and abandoned. Primarily, I'm interested in exhibiting work that in some way demonstrates the process of its making; work that is concerned with the political through oblique pathways, through poetics, through speculation and association; and work that challenges capital in some way. Labor, itself, is a medium.
In inviting artists, I'm striving for a balance of artists local and from elsewhere, hoping to generate new connections among people and practices. I invite artists whose work I like and who I like as people, and who I think might, with luck, go along with this thing I'm trying to do, even if it is ill-defined—friends, in short. In any case, space, time, and food with friends seems like a good place to start.
In 2023, support for Labor is a Medium is provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure Grant Program.