Installation – behind the scenes – images from the exhibition by Kirsten Pieroth, I don’t know if Thomas Edison invented the excuse in 2004.
In this, her first solo exhibition in North America, Kirsten Pieroth showed a series of works dealing with various interpretations of the term “inventing.” The artist researched facts and fables on the life of American inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who still holds the record for the most patents registered. Through these works the myth of his productivity and creativity gets transferred into general questions about artistic production.
I regret that a previous engagement prevents me from accepting your kind invitation to dinner at your home, on Thursday evening, September seventeenth, is a sentence taken from a letter written by inventor Charles Edison. Pieroth’s interest in, and subsequent research into the life of Edison led to the discovery the inventor often made excuses to avoid attending social functions. Pieroth then wrote to the American Patent Office requesting a patent on behalf of Edison for the invention of the “excuse.” This and other letters to Edison scholars formed the basis of the exhibition. A number of sculptural elements derived from photographs about or of Edison extended this exhaustive body of research tangentially to question the authenticity and subjectivity of historical records.