Cotton Candy at the Acropolis
We had a good time attending the opening of our friend Becky's graduate thesis show over at the Tufts art gallery the other night. Her installation used the subject of the Parthenon to explore ideas about travel and authenticity (among other things), and was indeed quite "monumental," even while the little fellow pictured above threatened more than once to knock over the columns she'd so arduously constructed.
These postcards reproduced images of the artist visiting the Parthenon in Greece, its replica in Nashville, and the Elgin Marbles taken from it and housed at the British Museum in London. Each is printed in one of the primary inks used in color printing, and visitors were encouraged to take a postcard themselves as a way of participating in the project.
Spectators were not encouraged to pick up and shake the gold-glitter snow globes that formed the centerpiece of the installation, but unfortunately many of us could not resist the impulse. Charmingly, part of the artist's opening night attire included a sparkly gold turtleneck that echoed these tempting art tchotchkes.
The strangest thing about this show was the scent of cotton candy that hung in the air as we entered the building. Was this a new thing at show openings, along with the wine and cheese? It wasn't long before we discovered its source ...
Okay, that giant pile of fuzz wasn't real cotton candy, but at the entrance of the installation the artist was indeed spinning woolly puffs of it, making her exhibit quite popular with art-viewers young and old.
A video portion of the project depicted the artist herself in a room full of cotton candy, bouncing and twirling amidst flying strands of the spun sugar, her body covered with sticky pink floss. It was a giddy spectacle, and I got a big kick out of it.
Elsewhere other antics were playing out, as in an installation involving a wrestling match with the self-styled "best artist in the world." You could also buy his clothes.
We may not have understood exactly what it was all supposed to mean, but it all had a lot of energy and humor, and was more fun than any art show I'd been to in quite awhile. The art kids are all right!