My past 2 1/2 weeks have been consumed with pulling together Salvador Dali's Naked Feast at The VORTEX, so I'd love to share my experience with you.
The feast is an interactive, surreal cocktail party in which the audience gets to participate in the making of surreal art. You enter a room that has two beautiful naked women, decked out in artfully placed food, and are invited to eat from them. Needless to say, this concept was very popular. We had surreal madlibs taken from actual Dali quotes, the audience participated in a poetry contest to win a melted clock, there was a surreal potato head contest where they made potato sculptures from both plastic parts and actual food, and people were encouraged to take pictures. Yes, even of the naked people.
I played the Muse of Salvador Dali, and was staioned in a distortion box for most of the evening. People watched as I bathed in a tub full of milk, and gazed through holes which we filled with bits and bobs that distorted their view. They could ring me up on the phone, lower and raise a few objects that I interacted with, and experience tough through a few layers of plastic that covered the side of my box. It was very popular and I had a great time! It was interesting to observe how people responded to the nudity. Knowing that you're going to see some nakedness is one thing, but actually experiecing it, well, people have a wide variety of responses. For the most part, I felt that they were very quiet and intrigued.
At the end of the evening I left the box and Dali painted me. That was so cool! The entire audience just hushed. It was really a magical, profound moment. After being painted Dali guided me and rolled me around a piece of canvas, creating an instant painting that we then auctioned off. I was quite shocked at how much people were spending on the thing, but the experience was pretty powerful and people were caught up in the moment. The final canvas went for $350! Whew! And of course the audience and Dali got to name the canvas each night. My favorite was 'The Death of the Texas Legislature.' Isn't that fun?
We raised a lot of money for the full project, which will go up in 2017. I certainly hope we keep several of the more interactive parts of this experiment! It's a great reminder that an audience appreciates being engaged in the art, and the more you can help them feel that, the better!
Here's some lovely pics from the show. Enjoy!
Dali inspects the painting of the Muse.
Me in the tub of milk, with a really great reflection of the melting clock throne.