gallerywest is a Contemporary Art Gallery on Queen Street in Parkdale. I have passed its windows many times and been disgusted at what took place inside this tormented Hole. Thus and so, when I saw an advertisement for a public participation demolition of their latest exhibition, I had to be there.
Early in the hot afternoon of July 23rd, the day of the demolition, I bicycled from an exhausting Kundalini Yoga class in Mississauga to Parkdale and met early with gallerywest’s gallerist Evan Tyler and his gallery technician, Mr. Vince Vining. I had planned to interview Evan, but quickly decided it was unnecessary; I knew all I needed to know about Evan just by looking at him: Evan Tyler is a Dreamer.
The gallery was already littered with empty beer cans, and soon after greeting me, Evan ran out to pick up more alcoholic ‘supplies’ for his work day, leaving me alone with Mr. Vince Vining. I worried about Vince Vining from the very beginning.
In plaid, sporting a chevron moustache and several banal tattoos, Vince Vining appeared indistinguishable from the rest of the sordid Queen Street youths I’ve encountered, except that his eyes lit up like wild fire when he looked at me. I was afraid he was a Demon. As he lay on the gallery’s interior windowsill to face the ceiling while talking to me, I could not focus on what he was saying, I just kept repeating to myself ‘Stay calm, Evan will be back soon.’ Luckily, Evan returned before I could confirm Vince’s demonic nature.
I will waste no time exploring the uninspired instillation-demolition by the two drunkard hooligans I had just met. You can watch it for yourself via their online video documentary:
It was absolute offal. I couldn’t enjoy myself because Vince was there. I wanted to destroy the space, defile the walls, and howl like a monster with All Fury, but I didn’t because I was gut-wrenchingly intimidated by Mr. Vince Vining- my heart raced in awkward frenzy whenever we brushed shoulders- and he forced me to carry his ice cream cone. It may appear in the online video documentary as though I’m having fun during the process, but I assure you this is because I’ve had Acting classes and was trying to appear engaged.
Despite Seamus, Provocative Penguin’s editor in chief, constantly badgering me to contribute new Material to his virtual newspaper, I was initially prepared to simply not write about my non-adventure at gallerywest until Evan Tyler shared with me one of his Dreams. I could feel his Spirit whispering gently into mine as he told me about his own latest Art Project, The Jennifer Hudson Project. Tender and Virginal, his Project aroused a Deep part of Me.
“…I’m giving myself one year to become friends with Jennifer Hudson, and I will do this through a series of acts which may or may not bring me closer to my goal of chumming around with Jennifer. None of these acts will even come close to the criteria of stalking, that’s not what I’m about,” Evan explains as if defensively afraid of being called a Stalker.
He has good reason to expect accusations of Stalking. In a recent article on BlogTO posted by Robyn Urback, my Enemy, Evan has spurred a firestorm of response to his Jennifer Hudson Project. Below are some excerpts from BlogTO’s readership:
YourArtSucks / July 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM
I really want to punch this guy in the face.
Baby Duck / July 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM
I’d like to see Jennifer Hudson kick the living shit out of him.
keven / July 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM
Stalking isn’t just showing up at someones (SIC) house. This creep needs to find out more re: Criminal Harassment. His “reaching out” even via a blog could potentially be criminal.
Robert / July 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM
This seems like something we should take very seriously and get upset about.
Evan responds to his attackers’ criticism by posting his own comment:
I don’t think I have totally realized the project in it’s (SIC) entirety. Like I said, it’s a jumping off point for micro-happenings to occur over the next year to test certain questions I have lingering in my mind such as- what would it be like to be friends with Jennifer Hudson, and what would it take? It’s an experiment based on an intuitive feeling.
Evan is right: he naively hasn’t realized the project in its entirety. What Evan doesn’t realize is that Stalking is Art. And he shouldn’t be afraid of what he is, a Stalk Artist. Throughout the history of ‘civilization’ many Respectable Arts like Stalking have been deemed unlawful: Graffiti, Suicide, and Public Defecation all have their place within The Art Community. Evan is the first Stalk Artist I have encountered outside my dreamscape, and I’m excited to see what our new relationship might come to. To help him on his Art Path, I have taken it upon myself to write a letter to Miss Jennifer Hudson, which I’ve included below this article.
To the Real Artists and Art Activists of my readership: Evan Tyler needs our help. I hope you take the time to write your own letters. Jennifer Hudson is a professional celebrity and, as such, a slave to the people; we can control her as we would a little monkey marionette. Address your letters to:
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
9601 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tell her you’re part of my readership, and you support Evan Tyler’s Stalk Art. You will be doing The Arts a service, and together we could possibly even grant Evan access to Jennifer’s Secret Garden.
Arts Luber’s Letter to Jennifer Hudson
Provocative Penguin Contributor and Strange Lonesome Monsters Member
**0 ******* ***., Apt. ***
Toronto, ON, *** ***
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
9601 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Mrs. Jennifer Hudson,
I write to you as a Real Artist and Art Activist. As I hope you know, The Arts face many challenges today- the continuing authoritative stranglehold of police and lawmakers prevent many Artists from fully realizing their potential, and the general public is increasingly becoming complacent dumb peasants. However, amidst all this, you have an opportunity to enrich the Art Landscape and become a respectable Pawn in The Revolution. I recently met with Stalk Artist and gallerist Evan Tyler. Evan has taken on a Project that is as ambitious as it is respectable: Evan Tyler is Stalking you.
Evan Tyler is the 26 year old owner of Contemporary Art Gallery gallerywest in Toronto, and through his current Art Work, The Jennifer Hudson Project (www.jenniferhudsonsfriend.blogspot.com), he aims to get as close to you as possible while upholding ‘the law.’ However, as you may know, many of a Stalker’s most effective methods have been rendered illegal in North America, so continuing his practice of Stalking you within the boundaries of ‘the law’ could be quite difficult and boring. I’ve begged Evan to simply contact you, but he insists on not expressing his admiration in letters or e-mails, instead only creating what he calls a ‘provocative body of artwork’ to gain your attention. I fear his humble efforts might not reach you. However, you can reach out to him. Evan’s Work has a unique place in today’s world, and by fulfilling his Dream of establishing a friendship with you, you would be reminding us that anything, even Stalking celebrities, can be beautiful and bare the strange fruits of Success.
Mrs. Jennifer Hudson, rare Artists are Rare. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a Dreamer’s Dream come true and be part of something bigger than yourself. Evan’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, more information about him and gallerywest can be found at www.1332queenwest.com . Reach out to him.
About the author: Arts Lüber is an artist and art critic from Toronto. He is concerned with censorship in the arts, and what he calls a ‘prevailing fascism in the art world.’ He describes himself as ‘an activist, alchemist, wizard, and art mongrel.’ In addition to Provocative Penguin, Arts writes for his own blog, Arts Lüber’s Republic.
You can read Arts’ other posts on PP [here]