Friday, January 30, 2004

fantasy literature and performance art

I thought about taking up Carpemundi's call to do some comparative work on the Lord of the Rings series versus Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, but I'm all essay'ed out right now. The seeds of an essay are sprouting, though, so maybe we'll see some mutant shoots in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I'll report something else I saw on the subway today: performance art!

It was amazing, if a bit subdued by nutty American standards-- certainly nothing on the scale of the dude who set up a toilet on a street corner in the Georgetown portion of DC, then pulled down his pants and sat there a while (if you saw the movie "Jackass," then you've seen the next logical step to this performance piece).

A bunch of garishly-dressed college students poured into the Line 1 train, half of them carrying digital cameras, half of them carrying clothes and hangers. The students with clothes began to hang them up by hooking the hangers through the swinging grips normally held by passengers. While this was happening, the students with cameras began taking pictures, mostly of the students with clothes, but also of us passengers. Soon this turned into a parody of fashion shoots, with some students posing by the hung clothing (remember: people are hanged, clothes are hung, and some of us gents are well-hung). When the doors opened, everything was quickly taken down and the students rushed out, at which point two of them unfurled a huge banner and flashed it to us inside the train. If I'm not mistaken, it was an ad for a college fashion exhibition (...dae hak p'ae-shyeon jeonshi-hwae...?).

OK, so maybe it wasn't performance art as you snotty purists would reckon it. But it was still a pretty cool event on an otherwise dull subway ride.


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