The Exhibition (or) how to have an art opening during a pandemic
I’ve been working on a self portrait series for years, the third 'Fifth Business' character in my Painted Theatre Project. I’ve done the Creator (the Builder) and the Destroyer (the Inadvertent Arsonist); next up is the Preserver, who manages the state between creation and destruction. I plan to paint myself as five versions of a preserver: chef (preserving food/resources), doctor (preserving life), taxidermist (preserving death), conservator (preserving documents that preserve, or capture, concepts/issues/people/perceptions/etc.), and artist (creator of said documents). I put together costumes for each one, and took photos of myself so I could use them as source material for the paintings.
My wife Elizabeth and I were a bit bored during the quarantine, kind of glad not to have our usual Fisch Haus responsibilities to worry about, but also empty without them, so we mounted an art show for two, dressing up as the five characters (Elizabeth improvised each partner) and threw an opening party. We “caught” these imaginary visitors on a security camera mounted behind a painting like a nanny cam (this does not exist at Fisch Haus, by the way...that would be too creepy). Ideally, we’d like the film to read, on the surface, as the latter: just a silly show made by two bored art gallery owners who miss their patrons. However, if anyone is looking for a deeper story, there’s something to talk about there too.
A short film by Patrick Duegaw and Elizabeth Stevenson