Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day ... What's Love 2012

(Above: Sundays Child and Friends, an altered poem with corresponding dolls. Click on image to enlarge.)

Although I'd never been to the annual, non-traditional Valentine's Day bash here in Columbia, I certainly had heard about past year's bawdy fun and board-line pornographic artwork. Called "Whats Love" as in the Tina Turner song "Whats Love Got to Do With It?", the event is widely attended (over 1000!) and Facebook friends post constantly with anticipation leading up to it. This year the new arts publication, Jasper, was sponsoring a room devoted to poetry and suggestive literature of all kinds. The theme for the entire event was "technology". To reflect this theme, the name of the one-night only exhibit became "What's Love: Input/Output".

I had an idea ... one that combined "art" (in a very loose, slightly naughty manner), poetry, and technology. Jasper Magazine sponsored it and Sundays Child and Friends was created. During the week before Valentine's Day, I revealed each doll on its own blog and on Facebook. It was silly fun altering the poem, making the skimpy attire, and uploading the photos onto social media. Last night was the "big event". It, too, was lots of silly, stimulating fun.

Above is how the seven dolls originally looked. They are all some sort of collectible toy from the early 1980s ... complete with labels, storybook names, and metal stands.

Above is how they looked after transformation. Click on the image and the altered poem can also be read. In order to incorporate technology, each doll has displayed with a QR code on the signage above and behind them. (See first photo!) The QR code navigated viewers to the blog post with each doll's "before" photos. The entire blog can be viewed HERE.

There was dirty dancing performances from three different, local groups. Lots of people dressed up for the occasion ... including a married man wearing a jean skirt, fishnet hoses, and heeled black leather boots with his ordinary suit jacket, white shirt and a proper tie. People struck R-rated poses for total strangers to take photos and there were many interactive pieces too.

(Above: Photo installation by Molly Harrell.)

Yes ... there was all sorts of art too. Molly Harrell's photography was among the very best art presented that night. She also conducted a voting for "Sexiest Geek", male and female. She photographed three men and three women who work in the computer industry ... in very fashionable, attractive ways ... cut out the images and mounted them on backgrounds made of colored floppy discs.

(Above: Bohumila Augustinova and Anastasia Chernoff with porcelain penises.)

Some of the work and many of the people aren't particularly appropriate for blogging ... but I was quite taken by Anastasia's concept. She and collaborator Matt Kramer created a fantasy Victorian cabinet of sex toys ... in a very nice antique music stand!


Fiona I. Wanna said...

It was such a pleasure to have Susan's work in the Jasper room at 701. Even though this installation was fun and sort of frivolous, it still exhibited the complexities of character that all of Susan's work does. There is meaning behind the stories of the dolls. And the entirety of the exhibit demonstrates the way that feminine essentialism changes across time and space -- as well as society's projected duality for femininity -- good girl vs. bad girl.

Susan, the artist who collaborated with Anastasia is Matt Kramer. He is the genius behind Rita the Meter Maid on Main Street. We'll be doing a piece on Matt in the May issue of the Magazine. Truly brilliant & beautiful artist.

Thanks again for being a part of the project. It was a great fit!


Lee Ann Kornegay said...

Loved having you participate and show your dolls for What's Love Susan! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Susan, your work is BRILLIANT and humorous....very TIMELY and thought provoking. You done good! Debbie Bein

Tamberine said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I wish there was something like that here in Richmond!