We got to art and party in one of our favourite Old Toronto holdouts this past weekend. The Galleria Mall's future is uncertain, but whatever developers make of it, at least we'll be able to say we threw a fantastic Long Winter in its corridors. My installation/performance, "RGB Nails," was delightful to execute in such a unique space.
This process was inspired by my fascination with different way-finding techniques used on elements of mid-twentieth century pop psychology (including the Ouija board). The idea that we can ascribe meaning to something as simple as a nail colour says more about our own psychology and self awareness that, say, believing an "external presence" is guiding our actions.
he group effort involved in selecting colours was oddly meditative. Mostly I was fascinated by how many Long Winter patrons were physically unable to relax - especially in a party environment. Their hands and wrists were tense as they touched the view-finder with me. As curious as I find it, this is something to which I can relate a great deal (especially in my formative years of not really getting what art parties were for or why we should have them).
Oddly, many thought I was a colour expert or psychic of some kind... As if using such a familiar mechanism gives one automatic credentials for such a thing. I assured everyone that I was neither an esthetician or a clairvoyant, but many still took the process of flashing lights and colour-finding very seriously. The LED lighting, installed to hover above the structure, was successful in throwing visitors off until I switched them to "white" when their session was completed. Many didn't know what their colours were supposed to be until the proper light balance was achieved.
I'm grateful to the Long Winter crew for making this project happen... And of course to everyone who stood in a long line to chill with me and select some colours with a party raging down the hall.