Tony Conrad debuted Tiding over till Tomorrow as a live performance at The Kitchen in New York City in 1977, where it took the form of a dual slide projection with live piano accompaniment by the artist. In this 2012 installation version, the slides were transferred to digital projection and Conrad’s live accompaniment was replaced by a contemporaneous recording of him playing piano. The piano accompaniment belongs to a larger durational performance project that Conrad called Music and the Mind of the World. Between 1976 and 1982, the artist—who was known as a violinist and had no formal piano training—recorded himself experimenting at length on the piano. The photographs that make up Tiding over till Tomorrow were taken by Conrad and are joined by a number of enigmatic texts slides by the artist Anne Turyn.
The work’s haunting and fractured narrative seems to depict different aspects of the art scene in Buffalo at the time; some images capture artists and performers gathered in Conrad’s own studio and apartment. Tiding over till Tomorrow is remarkable for its use of still photography to show action from multiple, even conflicting, viewpoints, undermining the illusion of a stable or coherent narrative. The performers in the photographs include Dan Conrad, Malou Conrad, Ted Conrad, Leora Eiferman, Richard Henderson, Karen Kazinski, Fran Keeman, Steven King, Paul Lemberg, Jason, Tony, and Joey Lucca, Una McClure, Linda Neaman, Kevin Noble, Ken Pelka, Anne Turyn, and Conrad himself.
Label from Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, March 3–May 27, 2018