Jacques Louis Vidal and friends to energize Metro Mall

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Vidal's multiple exposure


We're going to the mall on Saturday. It will be my very first visit, since the day I exited a highway in Victorville, California looking for a place to pee, to a representative example of Middle America's substitute for the urban experience.

I won't just be looking for the sanitary facilities at Dress Barn this time. Instead, it's going to be all about art.

Jacques Louis Vidal is creating a sculpture/event he describes as a "surrealist county fair" at the Metro Mall in Queens this Saturday. I don't think anyone who manages to get out there is going to be disappointed, regardless of the degree of her or his familiarity with the form or the place.

Somebody's PR gods have been working overtime: Timely supplementing the young artist's own wacky event website, the NYTimes has both a story and a picture in today's METRO section. An excerpt:

On Saturday, which is April Fools' Day, Mr. Vidal is staging a public art spectacle there. "The mall creates this absurd space where all is equal," he said.

Inventors, artists and hobbyists will joust, in the form of double-sided posters ("the anti-painting: can't hang it on the wall") and trifold cardboard sculptures. Among the curiosities: "The chewing gum brain," a drawing of a pink wad and a collection of watch ads that all tell the same time. There will be an exhibit on a quasi religion based on the link between art and science.

"People will be making volcanoes erupt all day," Mr. Vidal said, referring to a series of planned miniature baking-soda-and-vinegar catastrophes. Mentos and diet soda, he added, work too.


[image by James Estrin from the NYTimes]