Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Marc Horowitz meet Iwona Majdan


Just to highlight the difference between Canadian artists and American artists, Ms. Majdan should be compared to Mr. Horowitz. Ms. Majdan, as she states on her website, "will approach strangers who will[sic] pique [her] interest and persuade them to invite me home." She then proceeds to cook them dinner. She started this on June 27, 2004. And will be finishing it on June 19, 2005 (although I am unclear whether this June 19 dinner is the re-invite to all previous participants, or if that one happens later). For her work, she scored something like $8,000 from the Canada Council (assuming my memory is good - for some reason the Canada Council won't let me search the 2004 grants anymore).

A couple of days ago, I came across this article, about Mr. Horowitz, which conveniently had as its headline: "In name of art, California man dines with strangers." On the surface, pretty much the same darn thing, right? Well there are a couple of differences, Ms. Majdan will cook for strangers, and insists on being the one to initiate the process. Mr. Horowitz waits for strangers to approach him, and then expects them to fill his belly (already one point for the American, free food is better than non-free food). If you take a glance at Mr. Horowitz's website you'll see that there are some other notable differences, including that of a sense of humor.

But what got me most riled was the differences between how Ms. Majdan handled her project in comparison to Mr. Horowitz, and how it mirrored the situation as a whole between American artists, and Canadian artists.

In a nutshell - Art, when done well has the ability to change the world, change lives, or more simply, make people think. Ms. Majdan (as the Canadian artist) understands that but doesn't, won't, can't figure out that by telling as many people about her art as is humanly possible her chances of changing the world, changing lives, or making people think increase dramatically. She gets 33 hits in Google.

Mr. Horowitz, doing effectively the same darn thing as Ms. Majdan, has a collection of press clippings almost as long as Zeke's Gallery (his is 145 items, the gallery's is approximately 152 items).

So I ask you, which one is doing a better job of being a performance artist?

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