Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MoMa Infiltration by Jennifer Jacobs

While I was at SPE I starred this post in google reader so I could mention it later. Jennifer Jacobs, a new favorite artist of mine ever since I saw some of her advertising alterations, recently underwent a transformation for a performance – supposedly as research for future projects, which gets me even more excited. Here’s a video and some text from her post – you can read more about it there.

Guard #2 from jennifer jacobs on Vimeo.

“I decided to pose as a security guard at the MoMa. This was both something of an experiment for future public art projects, as well as a way to push my personal boundaries. I knew it would be somewhat challenging, due to the fact that the majority of the guards there are very large, very imposing looking men. To compensate, I put a lot of effort into my costume. I spent about 2 and a half hours on Wednesday at the museum doing basic reconnaissance.”

“I stayed as a guard for roughly an hour and during that time, several people asked me for directions, one family commented about my job, and I told a few people to get off their cellphones while in the gallery, which to my surprise, they actually did. I eventually got brave enough to walk around areas with other guards and even started making eye contact with them and nodding in their direction when we passed. They generally responded positively, I think I only aroused the suspicion of one female guard towards the very end. The hardest part of the whole piece was forcing myself to walk slowly, especially around the other guards. I was surprised how well it worked just to act like I belonged there.”

This reminds me of my old tactic of walking around with a paper in my hand while in government, school, or corporate buildings. As long as you have a piece of paper, walk briskly, and stare straight ahead people tend not to bother you. I feel like I may have gotten the idea from a movie or something – but it works.

You can read more about Jennifer’s project at her blog (and you might want to subscribe so you can learn about future hijinks in a timely manner.)

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 1:59 am  

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