But first I'm going to make a little side trip to San Franscisco where we saw a fascinating phenomonen at the Museum of Modern Art. On the fifth floor, in a large room near some sculpture there arose a gift shop. It didn't look quite real to me. I paused for a half second, wondering why this shop was here but (I'm proud to say) immediately recognized that this was an art piece, full of real shoppers who saw a gift shop and immediately started shopping.
It felt to me as though there was an invisible line keeping me out, much like the instinct that keeps you a distance away from a famous sculpture, or keeps your hands folded behind your back at an auto show.
I watched this shopping process and walked the perimeter. Meanwhile my husband approached a security guard to ask if it was an installation, and yes indeed, it was. He said it's been up a few months and will be down soon but that the participating artists are selling their own work (looked like notebooks, T-shirts, other small items from my vantage point) and have been making a bundle as MOMA is not charging a commission.
One area that gave it away to Gary and me was this storage area at one side. The screenprinted signs are way too simple: "Worst Business Venture Ever!," "Lost Our Lease," and so on. They were placed deliberately askew on the tabletop (I saw one viewer straighten one) and a little too neatly messy.
This was one of the most intriguing installations I've seen in a long time, going back to my Kent State art department days when this was what we did, messing with the viewer's mind, or at least trying to.