waiting for a copy
You have five more days to join in what will surely be remembered as one of the strangest and most delightful gallery experiences of the season, Gelitin's performance/installation at Leo Koenig on West 23rd Street.
From the Performa 05 website:
Viennese art collective Gelitin (Ali Janka, Wolfgang Gantner, Tobias Urban, and Florian Reither) will install and inhabit Tantamounter 24/7 a giant copy-duplicator-transformation machine for seven days and nights at Leo Koenig Gallery. The machine will be operated by the Gelitin artists under close supervision of a bankrupt psychiatrist. Visitors will be invited to insert any object, idea, or smell into the entry port, for duplication in the machine, and after an announced waiting time the input object and its duplicate will be ejected through the exit slot. The machine will be a sealed chamber of creativity with no connection to the outside world for the duration of the installation.
This afternoon Barry and I visited the box, intent on avoiding the weekend crowds*. Each of us was carrying an offering for the machine. Looking around for a precious posession, as we were advised by a friend, we first had the idea of bringing Sweetpea in his little traveling box. In the end the thought of the possible shock for either parakeet or artists made us look elsewhere.
We brought a neat old wind-up alarm clock and a favorite small houseplant. The clock went into the magic hopper first, and within twenty minutes or so it came back out accompanied by a truly wonderful, whimsical imitation, . . . err, tantamount, which boasted an old blue beer cozy for a housing, hand-inked numbers, two twisted paperclips for hands, two rubber feet from a small appliance, and, composing a top alarm shut-off button and controls for the back of the new "clock," various odds and ends of the kind found in the bottom of what my mother always called the junk drawer.
The plant was in the box for a much longer time, but the lovingly-crafted copy we found behind the door when the light went on was really spectacular. The Tantamounter had even accounted for the bits of perlite visible on the surface of the real soil by including some glossy dots and one tiny mother-of-pearl drop embedded in the Sculpey-soil.
insert object when light goes on
which one will need the sun?
actually, although the installation is open 24/7, as advertised, I think much of the fun is watching other folks come into the gallery with their own objects, and then seeing what eventually comes out of this extraordinarily imaginative machine
ADDENDUM: I've added images of the alarm clock and its tantamount below.