THE PLAN. Imagine the typical art gallery, an austere white space where oversized & overpriced works are displayed and sold on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Now imagine such a gallery suddenly besieged with customers from hell. These could include a snooty Yuppie couple intent on finding something that goes with the couch, while they loudly argue about trimming their purchase so it fits the living room wall. They could be followed by a fussy designer, who likes the work but wants it in a different color. Meanwhile, an annoyed art critic in a beret loudly dismisses the art, while some blue-collar couple asks to see something with puppies. The fun continues as angry feminists enter and demand to see more works by women, etc. Now imagine a string of clustered galleries being simultaneously besieged by these folks, and you've got yourself a work of performance art.
THE RESULT. Some 10 familiar and about 5 more enthusiastic and appropriately propped cacophonists joined us, a few more got locked out in traffic. Our casually paced and generally unconcentrated tour of activities centered mostly around a sophisticatedly dressed Mr. P and his wife DD. I was the cowboy decorator, Billy Philippe.
We measured paintings, contemplated the color effects, debated which rooms and with what furnishing a piece might work out with. P was generally in a pissy mood saying that he was not moved by a piece, the colors were confused, or simply that he wanted to move on. I commanded the others to hold up there samples of fabric, match color and wood grain samples, get the price list, or gather up the stack of credit cards I would sometimes drop in the middle of the floor.
The general tone of onlookers was silent surprise and uncertainty about whether to laugh or to take us seriously. They generally stayed out of our way and whispered to each other. Others did engage us. One woman whispered "9,000 dollars, 9,000 dollars" when I demanded to have a price on a certain item. A gallery agent and artist spoke to a "sympathetic" Mr. P about the healing properties of her swirly acrylic beige panel.
We did get asked out of one gallery. They had a vinyl black n' white, lace n' garter folk aposin' theme in paintings and 5 silent actors mockin' nothing much. Nothing a Cacophonist might be afraid of. We did our thing and talked with the actors who were more freaked out by us. RH., upon photoing a canvas and promising P to render it in any format and size he would like, was asked by a video taping Dutch guy if RH were the artist. Naturally this gave Randy license to talk about the influence his inverted wedding dressed suspended father had on his art since he was 5. At one gallery, a "friend" of P's made us and then asked him to take his friends and leave. She told me that she knew P and what we were doing and that we are "all family here" and that "this art is the real thing".
While whisking through some 10 galleries, all of the cabernets, merlots, zinfandels, and absolutes (where's the cheese) began to sink in. Upon our return on Melrose, several of us were a shouting mess. Several earlier witnesses to our antics cheered whatever unmotivated revelry we were up to in the moment and asked us what kind of commission we were getting and if we got the "$9000 piece".
We should definitely
do this event again, perhaps when Bergamont has a string of shows in a
month or two. I might suggest we bring in our own cheese, lox, macaroni
salad pot luck style.