Stan Shellabarger

Stan Shellabarger’s performance and book work addresses issues relating to the body. He often takes mundane, everyday activities like breathing, walking and writing to extreme measures in endurance-based performance work: walking from sunrise to sunset on solstices and equinoxes, counting every breath he takes in an 8 hour time span, filling notebook after notebook with his signature.

Shellabarger’s work amplifies the traces humans leave on the earth, as in his walking performances, or on objects, as in his Lightswitch and Mousepad books. The repetitive nature and long durations of Shellabarger’s performances lead to massive accumulations of marks and residues that record discrete units of time and space, elegant testimonies to the ephemeral and transient nature of life. The repetition of activity is necessary so that the extremely subtle marks left by these activities emerge as clearly visible artistic interventions. Despite their laborious process of transcription, the marks left by his performances are, like the body itself, ephemeral and transient in nature.

Residency Period:

Sep 2008–Nov 2008

Project Statement:

Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger’s first collaborative show occurred at Western Exhibitions in the Spring of 2007 and was reviewed in TimeOut Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. The Chicago-based couple has been creating collaborative works since they starting dating years ago, this work creates a distinct body of work separate from their individual studio practices. Miller’s personal work is often paintings or collages with themes of hardcore gay, hyper masculine, body-centric images, rather than focusing on partnerships and domestic. In his solo career, Shellabarger is best known for his performance work, which reflects on the universal actions of man, such as breathing and movement repeated to test the limits of his endurance.