On this past 2nd Saturday as their is Art Walk in our Art Districts, I had the pleasure of experiencing Â an interactive exhibit by 13 South Florida High School Students which created an environment reminiscent of a High School party with crepe paper streamers and music to accompany the installation. Each person who entered the exhibit was offered a sticker which read “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” I gladly and hurriedly put one on.
The gallery space was blacked-out with trash bags from the outside, so the “guests” who entered this party for anyone were surprised to find lots of colorful balloons strewn all over the floor, crepe paper wrapped around maquettes which resembled pinatas and the space was completed with alternating flashing lights along with music in the background. You could not see the faces of anyone as it was very dark inside the space. The emphasis was on the installation and the reason why you were there: Â IT WAS MY PARTY!
The idea sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t we all wish we were the guest of honor when we attend birthday parties? The lucky girl or boy or woman or man gets PRESENTS, but what we all crave more than anything (and this can be debated) is attention.
Think about your own birthdays past and think what was the most rewarding thing about it? Was it the presents? The expense of purchasing decorations? Were the presents that gratifying? Did the people who showed up really make your event or was it the elated state of mind you felt as everyone made you the STAR OF THE SHOW on that given day?
Were you there just to have fun? Was it more work than fun? Answering all of these questions may make you think about why we as a society single out birthdays? It seems to be a universal thing. It crosses cultural boundaries. Have you ever thought why?
***THE ARTISTS’ STATEMENT: Flashing Technicolor lights and festive sounds remind us of birthdays past. Party celebrations often become monuments of grandiosity. However, as the spectacle melts under the brightness of the lights and sheds its skin, its superficiality reminds us of our own impermanence.
Locust projects presented it’s collaborative summer project called The LAB. The students are from the following schools: Â DASH, Academy of Arts and Minds, Coral Reef High, Dr. Michael M. Krop High, Gulliver Academy, Hialeah High School, John A. Ferguson High, Miami North Western, New World School of the Arts, South Dade High and Terra High.
Locust projects marked its 13-year anniversary. It is an alternative, not for profit exhibition space dedicated to providing contemporary visual artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas without the pressures of gallery sales or limitations of conventional exhibition spaces.
The LAB is made possible with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Dunce Art Exhibit, July 9, Design District Art Walk.