I have just returned from the Gardner Museum where, from 1 to 3pm, I was the host of the Living Room – a project based on Lee Mingwei’s original artist-in-residence project from 1999.
It is a remarkably informal project. You show up with a few objects, put them on a table and then talk to people about the objects. But that’s the hard part, talking. Without a formal context, how does one strike up conversation in a serene space where people go to rest and get away? It’s easy on a crowded train or a doctor’s office where there’s a common injustice or suffering. Our only hardship is Whistler the singing canary whose energetic song at times gets a bit loud. There is no sign that reads, “Warning: a stranger may attempt to be intimate with you.”
I try multiple approaches.Read More