Kirsten Pieroth | I don’t know if Thomas Edison invented the excuse.

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Kirsten Pieroth, installation view from ‘I don’t know if Thomas Edison invented the excuse.’, Contemporary Art Gallery, May 7 – June 13, 2004. Photography by Althea Thauberger

Exhibition | Kirsten Pieroth | I don’t know if Thomas Edison invented the excuse.

May 7 - June 13, 2004


Kirsten Pieroth
I don’t know if Thomas Edison invented the excuse.
May 7 – June 13, 2004

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.