First, the important news,
Oprah is retiring.
In 18 months! OMG.
So if you need to confess to an eating disorder or that you were molested by the mailman or if you have a book on self-empowerment for toads, you better call your P.R. agent and get yourself booked because in 2012 the world as we know it simply ends.
I saw the entire story from multiple perspectives on CNN today in the dentists’ waiting room as I counted the minutes till my wisdom tooth was scheduled to be yanked (OOOWWWWW).
Incidentally CNN had a little story about the US Senate debating the passage of the largest federal program in United States history. That 90 second story was sandwiched in between Oprah graphics and and heated conjecture about what the future without Oprah would look like.
And now it’s time for FUN FRIDAY!
WK Turns His Opening Into a Perp Walk
At his recent opening at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles, 200 people were arrested.
Usually at an art opening the artist is (A.) lingering around the gallery uncomfortably answering questions about the work, posing for a picture in front of it, collecting phone numbers of groupies. Unless you are the shy type, in which case (B.) you are huddling in the back office taking nips out of a flask, doodling on the desk calendar, and waiting till the gallery starts turning out lights.
OPTION (C.), if you are WK Interact, is you think of almost everything as performance art, and every person as part of an installation. Then at YOUR opening you criminalize any willing participant and arrest them and put them through some playful militaristic institutional dehumanizing.
“I was really impressed by the turn-out and the audience enthusiasm to partake and let me ‘book’ them. Almost 200 people [about half the audience] waited in line to be fingerprinted and have their mug shot taken, incorporating another sense into the interactive experience: touch. It’s not often I get to be that intimate with the viewers, who actually became a part of the show through their participation and who are now part of the installation that hangs in the gallery for the duration of the show,” said WK.
The artist posed in costume and ran the guests through the penal mill with dry wit and gentle but firm authority. According to attendees, at first the experience was disconcerting, then funny, then funnier (that could have been the wine). WK himself at first tried to keep a mean-looking demeanor but clearly was having too much fun. This is why I always meet him in a public cafe, preferably with a bodyguard around the corner.
Brooklyn Street Art asked WK what was the procedure for processing the criminals in attendance:
“I simply did a mug shot that night and I let the crowd be part of my show. Then I put their arrest record on the wall ….. each one was finger printed and I Polaroid-ed them. I ask them their age and height in a typical arresting scenario. I recreated a desk at the entrance,” he recounted with satisfaction. And what was the reaction of the gallery guests? “The crowd was very enthusiastic!,” he reports. And for the officer on duty? “It was busy night of 4 hours’ work.”
I’m not sure if there will be more audience interaction and role playing at WK’s next opening, but for this group, it was certainly captivating.
Thank you to WK Interactive for these photos.
HERE is a good video to further describe the criminal records theory.
New Works by WK Interact through December 5, 2009
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