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Kit Macchi '02 and Sarah Galligan '02 created The Investigation of an Extinct Species from a number of discarded animatronic teddy bears.

The solution, we decided, was to compromise. As our performance artist, we chose Karen Finley, a woman whom U.S. senator Jesse Helms had labeled "obscene" and Ms. magazine had named woman of the year. The controversy around Finley was largely the result of 1992 Supreme Court case involving her NEA funding.


I wasn't the only one struggling with responsibilities. Michael Weinberg '01, our technical director, had to scrounge up a crane to hang Eleanor Erskine's sheets, a wading pool for Karen Finley's performance, and a mind-boggling array of other materials. Hospitality director Choul Wou '02 was in charge of a task force that made centerpieces, arranged catering, and prepared green rooms. Student art coordinator Rebecca Morgan '02 sorted through stacks of student art proposals, finally deciding to fund a Madonna-inspired performance piece, animatronic teddy bears, and 27 other pieces of student art. Alon Karniel '02, our publicity coordinator, papered the school with beautiful, intricate posters and designed RAW's program. Finally, Blair and Kristin worked feverishly to get contracts signed, budgets finalized and every detail attended to.

When the big week came, I reacted like a nervous hostess. I worried that not enough people would show up to the events, I worried the students would hate the stuff we'd planned, I worried that the artists would be dissatisfied.





Finley, whose mode of expression involves nudity and canned food, became popularly known as the "chocolate-smeared woman." That, we figured, ought to draw 'em in.

We also chose lesser-known artists whose work we admired. Stephanie Speight, an installation artist and painter from Vancouver, Washington, agreed to display her work, graceful objects knitted and twined from shredded books and music. Eleanor H. Erskine, a Portland State University professor, hung large, undulating sheets made of sausage casings from the ceiling of the library. Keith Goodman, a dancer and choreographer who has studied movement style in Thailand and Latin America, performed with his company, Dance Gatherer.

Writing the program became an exercise in deception. How could I convince my readers I knew what I was talking about when I didn't even know the difference between an installation and a sculpture? I taught myself as best I could. As I leafed through folders of publicity materials, I even started to feel a kinship with the artists I was writing about.


Karl Nelson '01 placed his Confronting the Migrant Worker Myth, in Eliot Circle


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Reed Magazine May
Go to Page 1 Page two, you are here go to page three Link to Reed Mag  Home download a .pdf file of Reed Magazine