Friday, June 03, 2005

Report from the Project Launch

The opening reception went well thanks to Red Ink Studios and everyone who worked hard to make it happen. I will post photos when the show is done. There are still a few days left, so check it out in person. But I am exhausted.

One of the things that exhausts me is watching viewers who are completely oblivious to the fragility of art. I mean wine and sculpture just don't go together. One guy put his foot right through one of my pieces and then made a bee-line for the door. Nope, he wasn't going to say a thing to anyone. My poor girlfriend was a complete wreck after trying to police people and their children and their dogs (dogs at a gallery opening - I don't get it) from toppling over pieces, picking at the work trying to pull chopsticks out, etc. Talk about untrained art viewers.

So, one of the lessons here is crowd control for the masses. One artist suggested putting up an electric fence. Another talked about an annoying alarm system. Indigo suggested Indiana Jones-like boobie traps with poison darts and spears. Hmm.. Just a little hostility toward the viewer. Gallery rage, you might say. An interesting theme for a show, I think. A barrier for the sculpture is a good idea though. What form that will take, I don't know yet.

What seems to happen with my sculptures (and I think this is a good thing) is that people want to touch it or interact with it. The untrained and unsupervised viewer, unfortunately, tends to destroy. I am thinking that people are like this with the environment in general too. And so, it is part of the educational process we have to go through. But training of some kind needs to happen. The state of art education today in the USA. Sigh.

I did have some good conversations about chopsticks. People, especially women, get really fired up about the absurdity of environmental destruction for a short-term profit.

The Project also has been listed as one of the picks of the week by the SF Weekly. Its funny reading too as it is full of wild inaccuracies. Just for the record, I have been collecting chopsticks for only 3 weeks (not for many years unless you include the couple of years its taken to find funding) from 9 Jtown restaurants and its about 60,000+ right now. Collection has been halted for 2 weeks because of the UNWED conference but will resume next week after the show comes down.