August 4, 2007

"It looks like the Turtle!"

A scary art project.
... Duke Riley, a heavily tattooed Brooklyn artist whose waterborne performance projects around New York have frequently landed him in trouble with the authorities, spent the last five months building the vessel as a rough replica of what is believed to have been America’s first submarine, an oak sphere called the Turtle, said to have seen action in New York Harbor during the Revolutionary War.

Mr. Riley’s plan was also military, in a sense — though mostly metaphorical, given that he is an artist. He wanted to float north in the Buttermilk Channel to stage an incursion against the Queen Mary 2, which had just docked in Red Hook, the mission objective mostly just to get close enough to the ship to videotape himself against its immensity for a coming gallery show.

But when his sub was stopped by a New York City police boat around 10 a.m., the outcome was not metaphorical at all: Mr. Riley, 35, and two friends who had helped tow him were taken into custody by a phalanx of law enforcement officials, and their excursion briefly raised fears that a terrorist attack might have been under way.
Riley got some great publicity, and people don't seem too mad at him. This shows that if you're going to do performance art that summons up fears about terrorism, it's good to have a military history theme to appease the kind of people who don't cotton to performance art.

For contrast, remember the artist -- Clinton Boisvert -- who placed boxes labeled "Fear" around the NYC subway, not too long after 9/11?

5 comments:

rhhardin said...

But when his sub was stopped by a New York City police boat around 10 a.m., the outcome was not metaphorical at all:

The police boat is the seven lean years.

Daryl said...

remember the artist -- Clinton Boisvert -- who placed boxes labeled "Fear" around the NYC subway, not too long after 9/11?

Did the boxes look like this?

ricpic said...

I don't cotton to performance art, which doesn't make me a fascist; those who imply that those who don't cotton to performance art are fascists are the true fascists.

Theo Boehm said...

Perhaps a crew of performance artists could be found to man a replica of another historical submarine, the C.S.S. H.L. Hunley.  A fleet of Hunleys could be built to accomodate performance artists.

Wouldn't that be a fine thing?

The performance artists/re-enactors will strive for every authenticity. For example, life jackets will not be part of the historically correct period costume.

A very fine thing, indeed.

Anthony said...

One of my mom's cousin was an artist in Brooklyn. Unlike most of the artists in Williamsburg though, he was actually from there. He moved out a few years ago because he felt the influx of "artists" was destroying the neighborhood.

Supposedly though, for some time before he left, he rode around on his bicycle shouting at all the young "artists" that their art was crap and that they should all move back to Ohio.

People where unsure if it was an edgy piece of performance art, or if he was just crazy.