This is hard work…being on display all day. Yesterday the book store saw the most people visiting for ArtPrize that they have so far and I imagine it will only be worse today. I find my being up there with my work has both a negative and positive effect on the people who come thru. Some people don’t look at the work close enough on their own to figure out that the sculptures are made of diet books and when I tell them they are…their interest in the work for the most part goes up, so it would seem that my presence in needed. Other people seem to want to look at the work without being observed…it’s as if they want to be invisible while looking, and they find my looking at them while they are critically looking at them uncomfortable. Some will sneakily glance at the work from behind magazines, or pretend to shop for something while secretly trying to catch a glimpse of the work when I’m not looking. I mean we all know why you came to downtown to this bookstore during this first week of ArtPrize…and it wasn’t to buy some stationary…so why so squeamish??
Some people act as if there is nothing there at all…is it the message they don’t want to see? I had one woman assume I was ripping up Bibles, I guess because artists are traditionally thought of as radical in this very conservative community they are figuring we are going to be trying to tear down what they hold dear. Or is it that you can’t represent Paleolithic Female or a Venus/Goddess would not mesh with biblical beliefs.
Trust me there are plenty of diet books that use religious terminology “The Thin Commandments” “The Low Carb Bible” and many that are faith-based, but I am hardly ripping up Bibles.
It is fun to rip up books in a book store and it does cause for some chuckling and out right confused looks. It drives me nuts when people approach my work already decided that it’s evil…you can just see it in their faces. When you try to engage with them you can tell that they have already shut down. I know it’s unlikely but I would love it if I got into the top 100 or even the top 25 and these people would have to revisit the work to find out what they had missed. Because you can just see that they have shut down completely. It’s not always the people you would imagine too. I am shocked at how many woman of size will completely avoid the work…do they think I am making fun of them? Are they too embarrassed themselves to face this issue out in the open?
I am thrilled when people finally get it…when I see the light go on over their heads…I really feel that this work resonates with many women…not all of them fat…It would be great to get some press. I can’t believe what a positive response I get from the people who come and see work and how it doesn’t show in the poles.
A photographer friend of mine Roger Anderson took a series of shots of me…like I have said many times ( if not here to anyone who has been listening…) I never expected to win anything here…but saw this as a photo-op. I’m in a hard location…up on a stage that is not well-lit when it comes to photography. But he was able to get some good ones. I kinda felt a bit like a grad student…after all that is his business…but I think he got the essence of the installation pretty well…Don’t you agree??