Yeah, it’s very difficult. I think it’s a dilemma I haven’t solved in a way. Yeah, so when the audience is really upset, you wouldn’t believe it, but I can understand it fully. I think I would be truly upset if I would be in the audience, and I would learn that later that’s a contemporary art project, but I probably would not stay upset. It would take me some time to wrap my head around it and then to understand that I could not have experienced this in the way I did experience it emotionally and engaged if it would have been presented as artwork in the first place. So, if I come across these people as like what the AGO did, the Art Gallery of Ontario, when they did the He Named Her Amber piece with me in 2008, they forwarded all these angry emails to me, and they forwarded the telephone numbers of people who left their number and said, the museum acted unethical and this is not okay, and they asked their money back for the tickets they had paid or they withdrew their membership or whatever.1

 

So, all these addresses and people would come to me, and I took time, although of course, I didn’t caught all of them, because we had 15,000 visitors over one and a half years. I took the time to basically call these people up and to say, “I have to introduce myself, I’m the artist behind this installation.” And I let them ventilate. And after they had basically then talked and let their anger out, there is a kind of a pause, and at some point when they learned that there is a human being behind it who did not want to trick them, who had no intention to be mean or in a higher position or make fun of them, that it is just about trying to provide this immediate discovery and this material — not material, this emotional engagement, then people basically mellow a bit mostly and they understand, and some of them then write their thesis about the work or recommend it to their friends and really come around and become advocates, not all of course, but…

  1. Cloaca, Exploratory Search, Greater Kindness, Leprosy Stand, MacArthur, Medicine You Probably Need []
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