Saturday, April 14, 2007

Opening Day

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.

- Jenna

1 comment:

avocadoinparadise said...

I was at artomatic on Friday night and enjoyed the post secret exhibit. It was kind of hard to find, ironic since it was right by the elevators. You need a sign by the door...

The electronic presentation of the postcards was ok. It was a good way to counter/contrast from all of the other visual art being displayed there, but I think I would have personally liked to see a bunch of the postcards displayed on the wall. Like, tacked all over the walls of the room. Perhaps by color so they made some larger design. (In another room there's a work of art that forms GWBush's face out of the faces of thousands of american soliders who have died in the iraq war. You could do something like that with the postcards.)

Anyway, I was expecting to see lots of cards in person at the exhibit. Was actually looking forward to that bc we only see them electronically on the internet, or in printed form in the books.

Overall great exhibit though! :)