DUOX4Larkin

January 29–March 18, 2012 / Artists Space / New York, NY

Dear DUOX4Larkin Directors and Managers:

I hereby reluctantly submit my resignation from my position as Lead Surrogate at DUOX4Larkin, effective January 28, 2012. As a result, all forms of identification – badges, monogrammed uniforms, and office stationery – will be returned within the next two weeks. Hopefully, the baby-proofing task that I have already performed will be considered sufficient and the new protagonist that will be birthed, whom you have named BOY’D, is exactly what you desire. In my preparatory analysis, I have validated the precedents for this protagonist: Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, Gaëtan Dugas as Patient Zero, James Bond, and the ensemble cast of Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday.

My time at DUOX4Larkin was a wonderful challenge. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I would like to recommend Casper Sondar as my successor to finish the final three months of my, already brief, nine month intervention. I realize the work environment looks as though I’ve left it in disarray, but I have devised a deliberate system so that everything can continue seamlessly in my absence. It relies on three separate spaces: the incubation space, the Hub, and a site to customize your strife. Actually, I may be back for a day following my departure to see how everything has taken effect. Please let me know if I might be of further assistance.

As a parting gesture, I’ve left everyone a see-through vial with a terrycloth landing pad, a sanitizing pen, an uncommitted ID badge, and a change of clothes – well, an iron-on :)

Thank you, and the best of luck.

Debra A.K.A.
Lead Surrogate


From the Artists Space catalogue

DUOX4Larkin draws on the historical example of the Larkin Company, a now defunct soap and home decorations company founded in the 19th Century. Housed in an administrative building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Larkin achieved notoriety for its endeavors to promote harmonious working conditions and “pure” values amongst its workforce, in synthesis with the purveyance of lifestyle solutions to its customers. Considering Larkin as a prescient Gesamstkunstwerk of branded product and corporate values, DUOX4Larkin incorporates arrangements of objects and images that relate to the changed notion of labor – overly designed and dysfunctional workstations, detoured workwear, customized commodities, and the use of screens for both display and concealment. The physical qualities of DUOX’s work in which related elements indicate hierarchies of “the simulated” and “the real”, build on the application of physiological ideals of cleanliness and hygiene within contemporary culture. Underlying processes of customization suggest both the standardizing of aesthetic choice, and its extension into the realm of biopolitics. The composite inhabitant of their workspaces is part health worker, part surrogate parent, part fashion victim.

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