November 11, 2012

People As Art.


A few years ago I did a piece of performance art (or ephemeral art if you will) with real people, it was called: 

"Jeans, Jeans, Slacks, Jeans, Jeans. Two girls, Three guys (5 is the magic number)"

The gallery had a run of thursday night art movies presented by one of the curators and sometimes by the filmmakers themselves (when it was a local picture), and at first it was very low key but by the 8th or 9th time it was apparent that a following had been established, and people started to arrive early to enjoy the exhibition that was current while waiting for the movie.
One day I asked a some of my friends if they would take part in an idea I had of piling people in the middle of the room and just lay there, as placed, for a certain period of time. They were all very happy and quite willing to be my artifacts for the night so I gathered all the cushions from the reception sofas, put them on the floor and just mixed people on top and told them to be as still as possible.
My intention was for people to notice them as they came in the room and get the idea that it was a performance, a show to admire, art in a different form than on the gallery walls. I didn't really know if it would work at first because they were mostly ignored by the people coming in after I piled them and the night's picture was 45 minutes or so away still, then I noticed one very well dressed lady who saw that they were just there, not moving and smiled and went for her husband who was in another room and when they came back she pointed to them and whispered something in his ear and they both walked around with big smiles and curious faces, and by then the others realized what was happening and gave them a second look, and I was pleased and a bit relieved that it was not for nothing.
They were there for two hours.

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