Friday, January 15, 2016

Aftermath

One week has passed since the Culture Hole exhibit.  I have to admit that I miss the anticipation, the nervous jitters, preparation work, that feeling of going into unknown territory, and the email exchanges with Lana.  The experience of the show itself seems surreal now, almost like it happened in a dream.  It is a memory that will stay with me for a long time.

There had been quite a few pre-show announcements of the exhibit, with publications like D Magazine, the Dallas Observer, and Glasstire including it in their list of art shows to see that weekend, so I was curious about any reviews or press after the event.  Unfortunately, I have only found one post-show item about it, and the disappointing thing is that it is more about my personal narrative about the exhibit than the exhibit itself.  It was written by Tim Rogers for D Magazine, and the title of the post is “The Weirdest Thing You Will Read Today”.  You can click the link to read it, but it sounds like Mr. Rogers wasn’t actually present at the show.    In what seems to be a case of lazy reporting, he makes disparaging remarks about the concept of the exhibit while denigrating, in an offhand way, my report about the event.  In other words, he doesn’t “get it”.

I realize that the nature of that performance piece was one only for people who wished to be challenged.  When Lana first asked me to be the model/performer for it, I didn’t think about what she was trying to say with the piece.  I saw a chance to be a part of a major exhibit in a leading gallery in Dallas, so I immediately took it.  And even now, after the fact, I don’t know what Lana was trying to say with the piece.  I wasn’t one of the viewers.  I didn’t walk into the Power Station after seeing the announcements; I didn’t socialize with the other patrons; I didn’t go into the Hole to try to take in what Lana had put together.  I was merely part of the exhibit.  Some would say that I WAS the exhibit, but there was so much more than just my “performance” in it.  There was the venue, the video, the music, the lighting, and the communion with the other patrons.

I experienced something revelatory and amazing at that exhibit, but as the performer, my experience was totally unique, all my own and no one else’s.  I still wonder what the people coming to see the exhibit got from it, but in my position, I will never fully know.  Unlike Tim Rogers, however, I would never write anything denouncing the exhibit without seeing what the artist (in this case Lana) had wanted me as a viewer to experience.

By the way, the Culture Hole website has been updated with a video from the event on its front page and with photos under the Projects link.  Needless to say, they are not safe for work...


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