Notes from a work in progress

A fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented to divert attention from the original perspective. Considering the restaurant and its patrons on display in the context of a gallery space.

As you approach, a large entrance you might stumble upon in any European city’s alleyways asks you to come inside. A bi-folded sign displays an image of Magritte’s pipe and reads, “Ce n’est pas un restaurant”. The reverse side holds the menu for the five-course prix fix. As you approach the doorway, a beautiful siren stands beside the entryway signaling and inviting you to enter and “experience a work of art.”

The Patron enters The Red Herring and is seated in an intimate setting that they might normally share with a loved one. A charger displaying two fish placed head to tail is set before them on the table as an immediate symbol of the conflict that is generated when we are not working together. As the Patron absorbs this environment a video loop of herring swimming in unison is projected on the wall offering them a symbol of the opposite position of strength as a collective.

The first course arrives…

a traditional Venetian peasant dish of marinated sardines with onions, raisins, pine nuts, and vinegar to be served the next day with crusty bread. On a small plate a single sardine is served and the Patrons are asked to consider themselves.

What will happen when the bus boy walks in tossing plates into a bin? Will patrons notice him constantly looking up at the clock, impatiently asking himself, “when the fuck do I get out of here?”

Likewise, what will happen when a server walks toward the rear of the restaurant where a  framed etching reads, “Dreaming of Elsewhere”? Will patrons escape with him as he gazes out the windows that surround the etching toward images of a distant place where lavender fields grow?

How many of us find that we have to set aside our true passion in order to survive? We all have an office window we look out of, dreaming of elsewhere.

As each subsequent course is served, Patrons are asked to consider another question. Through breaking bread together, the playing field is leveled and the messages and questions presented in The Red Herring are easier to digest.

While these interactions occur, a character that tells of real life triumphs and tragedies meanders in and out of the scene. Hobo artists guide patrons through the five-act story of an artist’s life cycle. They will not interact directly with the patrons, but will exist as narrators, living the story while remaining separated from the experience. They will act as a living suggestion of a personal story with universal implication. The hobo artists will connect the dots, allowing elements of the installation that hold deeper meaning to be uncovered.

Through this shared experience, a choice is presented. Will you merely witness this separation unfolding or will you confront it?

nulla dies sine linea