Jason Pallas has been punished for doing just that. Which proves that the jury of experts running the West Chicago City art museum are a bunch of philistines with no concept of what real art is.
|By Jason Pallas|
What would you expect, though, from a town that doesn't even have an original name? They could have called themselves anything, but the town founders tried to piggy-back on Chicago's fame. They didn't copy the city's vibrant art scene, or highly evolved attitude towards modern art.
The mixed media art presentation that Jason Pallas put together arose from a project that asked artists to create something based on an object in the museum's collection. Mr. Pallas found inspiration in a 1930's playbill for a minstrel show.
Controversial, to be sure, but art is meant to make us uncomfortable. Being reminded of the old Jim Crow days is definitely not pleasant, but neither should we shy away from reminders of what we would not wish to repeat.
At any rate, Mr. Pallas did his art thing and the museum put it on display, not realizing that what was in the museum was only part of the overall piece. The rest of it was an installment of performance art that was spread out over a wide area.
He crafted false press releases, inviting all to a minstrel show to be put on by a fictional glee club at the local high school.
And he got a reaction, which is what performance art is meant to elicit.
The plebeians in charge of the museum promptly removed the physical portion of the artwork from their exhibit, and have been exhibiting high dudgeon ever since. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by looking at the artist's other pieces, and reading a bit about his attitude towards art, but when all you know of art is that nice big painting hanging behind your couch, you won't be prepared for what is being done these days.
Of course there was no minstrel show, but in the 1930's in West Chicago there was a minstrel show and Mr. Pallas used his talent to bring the bad old days back to mind. He made the museum people very, very uncomfortable.
His mixed media artwork was a success. Even if no one can see it now at the West Chicago City Museum.