Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Twenty Questions (or not)

Over the weekend, one of my more curious friends (interpret that as you choose:-) and I decided to do some surveys.

The first one was a survey of NY City restaurant servers: 100% of the waitpersons we asked what they did when they were not waiting tables said they were (drumroll, please - this is a huge surprise!!) ACTORS.  Two-thirds were in musical theater and the other third was non-musical theater who was also a model. (a highly scientific survey, as you can see). To be continued.

The second survey is a question for artists (that means YOU).  Hypothetical situation:

You are an artist whose work appeared in an exhibit called Boxes (art in boxes, boxes that were art pieces, etc. etc) and it is the night of the opening.  One of the attendees walks in wearing a refrigerator box.
How would you, as one of the exhibiting artists, feel?  What thoughts would go through your mind?
Please answer in the comment section, as I am very serious about this particular survey.

More questions later tonight or tomorrow.

31 comments:

Cathy Bargar said...

Interesting question, Rayna! As usual, it's not so simple (at least in the roaring canyons of my mind). First thing I'd want to know: is this box-garbed person one of the artists, or is she an attendee? If it's an exhibiting artist, is the box plain or embellished? Is this one of those conceptual pieces we all sort of dread, or guerilla art, or some sort of "box-in" vaguely reminiscent of the '60s? Does it (the box) look interesting, or make an insightful point, or anything that would allow you to give it the benefit of the doubt and call it Art, or is this just a random person wearing a refrigerator box?

Or perhaps a homeless person wearing her dwelling who has intentionally or otherwise wandered in to see the exhibit? I'm guessing this is a "no".

Is it Halloween, or Purim, or any other holiday that might allow for box-wearing?

If none of the above, and it is really just an attendee wearing a box - well, IMNSHO that's just rude! It takes
attention away from the exhibit, and causes a lot of fuss and buzz and chit-chat that detracts from the show and the
artists. Presumably this person has some sort of point they think they are making, or some ax to grind, or a need for attention for some particular reason, and this doesn't seem like an appropriate way to make it. Rude.

But I could be wrong - maybe it was just that kind of art show...

So say you determine, by asking around, that she is in fact just a person coming to view the exhibit. Well, that's just rude!

GerryART said...

I suppose I'd think that the 'boxed' attendee was really into the mood/theme of the exhibit.
And, suppose I'd be interested in hearing his/her comments about the exhibit.

Marié said...

Hi Rayna
My first thought was that it is wonderful that an exhibition like this unlock the creativity in others. But then - is it so creative, is not just lame and not original.

After reading Cathy's response I think it is true- it can be regarded as rude to attract the attention away from the actual artist. (If they would stand outside to get people interested to go into the exhibition it would be grate!)

Gerrie said...

Not that creative - wearing a cardboard box as a costume has been done. If it was one of the artist's - perhaps it was the art - performance art so to speak. If it was an attendee, not an artist - shame on them for taking away from the art on exhibit.

Jeannie said...

Well, first of all, it wouldn't be me! I don't like to draw attention to myself. That is the ploy I fear is happening, to take eyes away from the exhibit to the person wearing the box. Even if the person was a participant, I think it isn't very inspired. Did you wear a box to the opening? :D

yarngoddess said...

Hmmm, thinking about shows and attendees' clothing reflecting the theme of the show.
Handwoven openings are often attended by those wearing handwoven clothing. Dyed and felted show openings likewise would probably have a few dressed in clothing handdyed or felted.

If the attendee in question had crafted an interesting outfit out of a box, I wouldn't be quite as appalled as seeing someone arriving in a box plain and simple. On the other hand, if the box ensemble was so incredible that it upstaged the entries... that might have been awkward as well.

Were the show entries created without skill or merit according to any critic or reviewer? Perhaps that was the message of the attendee.

Was the attendee hired by someone whose work was rejected by the juror? Was she wearing a gorilla mask? Was it performance art?

The mind wanders and wonders. Great Question though.

I guess this is just a hypothetical question, because you would have to "hem" a refrigerator box if you plan on pulling this caper yourself. I think you are more like a wardrobe box size...

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

I would think of the time years ago when I was about 13 and I went to a Halloween party as the Old Gold dancing cigarette package. I got a box and painted it just like the one on TV! did a great job if I do say so myself!!
but did you ever try to roller-skate wearing a box with holes for houe eyes????

Eva said...

Someone is practising a kind of Zen which is attentiveness. Opening the visitors' eyes for every day things and the meaning we imply. To me, the ultimate tea ceremony is to pour up some English tea with boiling water from an electric water boiler. See what I mean? Anyone can go exotic. Awareness arises in the presence of banality.

Sandy said...

Hmmm, never having been a fan of performance art, mostly tedious self-grandiosity, I guess I would be put off by Box-Man or Box-Woman. If, instead it was the theme of the 'show' to do something with a particular box I wouldn't care because I wouldn't be there i the first place.

Terry said...

I would feel mildly irritated by someone showing up in a box and I would be thinking, "oh yeah, another guy who needs to make everything about HIM." I would roll my eyes and go out of my way to ignore him. In my family we don't recognize "Show off-y" behavior. BTW, this is really odd--did it really happen?

Andrea said...

I think it's clever & fun as it mirrors the theme of the exhibit.

AffaStudio said...

I’m a new fan of Rayna’s work and seem to have arrived on this blog in the midst of a contentious debate. Honestly, I don’t understand what the fuss is about. Someone walks into an art show whose theme is Boxes wearing a box -- what could be more appropriate and fun. Maybe, just maybe, this individual is showing support for the artists in a lighthearted way. Instead of assuming it’s rude, egotistical, or “show off-y,” or making similar negative judgments, how about just enjoying the humor and novelty?

I agree that if the box was decorated or embellished in any way, some questions might be legitimately raised. But a plain, unadorned, refrigerator or wardrobe box? Are artists so insecure about their work they’re afraid it will be upstaged by someone wearing a corrugated box? If so, maybe you ought to request mediocre hors d’oeuvres at the opening lest the food take attention away from your art.

Rayna, I actually think the better question would be: You are an artist whose work appeared in an exhibit called Boxes, and it is the night of the opening. One of the attendees walks in wearing regular clothes in contrast to everyone else who is dressed in a refrigerator or wardrobe box? How would you, as one of the exhibiting artists, feel about that individual? What thoughts would go through your mind?

:)

quilthexle said...

Oh wow - what a discussion !! Honestly, I think I would just grin. Maybe it IS rude, but even than I think, everyone has sometimes a day on which he makes bad decisions ...
But reading through all those comments got me thinking, and I like that, so I'm looking forward to your next question(s) ;-)))

Karoda said...

My first response is "cool and clever"...great marketing for the exhibit. And because I'm nosey, I mean very curious, I would want to know why she/he did it. I also would hope my camera battery was charged to get a photo of the person to blog about...hehehe.

Eva said...

After a night of sleep I came to the conclusion that the person who wears this box sees herself as a refrigerator. Poor (deep frozen) chick.

Heather said...

I would be amused that someone had taken a little trouble to get "into" the theme of the show, showing their support for one or all of the artists, and then I would move on.

jeannette said...

I'd ask for a Bud Light.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

It's hard to follow the "Bud Light" response but I'd first think: What a show-off. Then I'd think, "I want to see them try to sit down."

tiedyejudy said...

I'm not a frequent opening attender, but I'm glad I am not the one wearing the box... too uncomfortable! Since I do go to see the art, and would be put off by distractions, I'm assuming I would be a little irritated by the box wearer, but I have seen my share of attention-getters at events like this... I think I would probably try to tune them out so I could focus on the exhibit.

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Anonymous said...

First thought: I'd want to know what is UNDER it!
Second thought: Why didn't I THINK of this?
Third thought: Giggle.

Debbie Bein

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Vivian Helena said...

At first I might be shocked,, but then ask them to be a mime in the show.. maybe get some paint and add to the box, if it were just a plain box...
when lemons arrive, make lemonade. Loved reading some of the answers.. love your blog and the discussions.

Debra Spincic said...

I generally just ignore that kind of display and go about enjoying the real exhibit.

Lynn K. said...

I think it would be great! Yes, at first it might distract from the exhibit itself, but I think it would inject a shot of humor into the crowd and bring some smiles to a lot of faces (apparently not to some who have posted before me). Unless the box person became too talkative, annoying, boisterous,etc., I think it would be fun. I'd like to think that I might do something like that myself, but I probably wouldn't; I'm too self-conscious.
Lynn Kunz

Thea Belecz said...

After reading all the comments, I'll stick with my original reaction... the person was just plain thoughtless. Not necessarily rude. Just going with what he/she thought would be a lark. Clearly in need of some attention.

Were you seriously surprised about all your NYC waiters being actors? I have NYC actor friends and they have all done their time in the food industry. Seems a natural fit to me - most people in love with art of any kind also seem to love food, myself included. On a trip to France, I took lots of pictures of food; outdoor markets, shop windows, food food food. No - I'm not overweight! And I love to cook.

Best to you on this beautiful fall day - Thea

Natalya Aikens said...

oh pahleeeze......what an attention seeker!

Cäcilia said...

I would hope for you that it is a performance by Mummenschanz http://www.mummenschanz.ch/ !

Del said...

I would probably laugh and then ignore the box wearer. Such a "lark" says "me-me-me-me-me" and I don't appreciate people who are so self involved. Let the artists and their art have their time in the sun. I don't find this discussion contentious, quite the opposite, it is enlightening to hear how others feel/think. It is definitely a Rayna "thing".

Anonymous said...

"Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings."

Fibra Artysta said...

I'd be interested and amused. It would certainly liven things up. :)

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