Sunday, May 16, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 13

In the window, Ellen and Shasa. The dinner was a surprise date planned by Ellen, so Shasa had no idea they were participating in this activity until they arrived. These two have been dating for a year and a half.

Shasa is also a vegan, so their dinner was an elaborate combination beyond the viewer's guessing ability. Shasa wrote out the ingredients for us to read: butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, kale and pasta. They also had a special dessert which Ellen brought just for her man. They also played a game... Bananagrams perhaps? From the outside low vantage point, it looked as though they were pretending to play a game for our benefit... moving their fingers around the table with no apparent game pieces involved.

This was the first evening where the chairs were occupied most of the time. Often first time viewers who are interested in the piece stand off to the side, often with arms crossed. If that same viewer comes back a second time, they move a little closer to the window and the chairs, testing their freedom but not committing. Eventually, the viewer feels compelled to invest, this is demonstrated by sitting and staying.

Unexpected parts of public life were involved in this dinner as well. An old (possibly senile or drunk) man parked his bike on the "stage" of the sidewalk and declared his need to preach about God for a while. Another woman, highly intoxicated, spent time admiring Shasa in the window. Highly unpredictable and just as much apart of the life of the piece as anything planned.

A reporter from the Tribune also came to see the piece. I have been hoping for someone to find and write about it (now I'm hoping the write-up is flattering). She didn't disclose her affiliation for quite some time but her purpose was apparent. That presence made me feel as though the piece was my child on display for someone with a lot of control over their value. Maybe like watching your high school son play a game of football with a college scout sitting two seats down watching as well. It was nerve-wracking and exciting, but I was proud of the piece as it stood regardless. Yet again, a new and unexpected level of awareness has developed... the artist becoming maternally aware for the sake of the art.

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