the viewer in the art
What happens when a project is installed in a private home rather than a gallery?
That was the premise behind “X-Apartments,” a project by the New Theatre in Warsaw, Poland, in which viewers follow a route through the city and visit several apartments in which artists have staged events or installation specific to the environment. Read more about community-based art in Poland, here.
British new media artist Victoria Bradbury‘s project, “Blue Boar,” places the viewer in the imagined space of the 1692 Salem witchcraft trial of Bradbury’s 10th great grandmother. Face recognition software senses that a viewer is present, and then projects the viewer’s face onto the boar.
Cuban-born Felix Gonzalez-Torres made installations and sculptures, often about his experience with HIV/AIDS. His installation, “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)” invited viewers to take a piece of candy from a huge pile of wrapped candies. As they did, they participated in the destruction of the artwork. The pile had begun at an “ideal weight” that matched the ideal weight of Gonzalez-Torres’ partner, who had HIV/AIDS Thus the viewer/participant becomes complicit in the wasting away of a man.
For more on both Bradbury and Gonzalez-Torres, read this this blog post from the New Britain Museum of American Art.
In a previous post I mentioned British art critic Ben Lewis, who may well be THE leading investigator of Relational Art (aka Community-Based Public Art, New Genre Public Art, Culture Hacking, etc.) In this BBC documentary, Lewis explores the sensory overload work of Carsten Holler, Elmgreen & Dragset‘s public wire tapping project, Philippe Parreno‘s “meaningless” lamps, and much more. Check out the full video and decide for yourself if Relational Art is an “ism.”
Don’t miss INSTIGATE: The Artist In the Community, an interactive conversation with Suzanne Morlock, Thursday at 5:30 at The Rose.