Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday the 13th was the premiere of Artomatic 2007 and I was dutifully in charge of making sure Frank Warren's hard work didn't go unseen. Excited and nervous to have such a huge responsibility on my hands, I rushed down to Crystal City to set up the PostSecret room. You'd think all I had to do was push play, but just my luck the whole tv and dvd had been unplugged for the inspector. I had to reset everything (luckily Frank had forseen such events and given me directions to do so). A few fellows poked their heads in and asked if I had broken it, but thankfully I had not, hah. So finally I got the exhibit up and running; I patched the few post cards that had fallen back up on the walls; I placed PostSecret post cards on the pews and turned out the lights.
Artomatic went off without a hitch and a rough 4,000 people walked the halls. There we're so many artists there and I really feel like Frank created a mini-sanctuary away from all the clamor and bright lights. In his little room with two church pews and the cool darkness, you could relax and be invited into a world of secrets (perhaps some you might recognize in yourself). Frank said he wanted the experience to be almost spiritual and I think that is what he achieved. I imagined a conversation or a struggle forming within a person as they viewed the secrets on the screen. A few times I sat in the room watching with a stranger and I noted their reactions. They laughed to themselves and silently regarded the secrets that seemed to hit home, but I almost felt as if I wasn't suppose to be there. Seeing someone else read secrets seemed like an invasion of privacy. I wonder if I hadn't been there if those people would have laughed louder or perhaps cried. I will never know.
The room was a place I always returned to after making a few rounds to other exhibits. It was like a hideout. A place where I could rest my feet and feel no urgency to get up and leave.