Artwork that requires my participation often suffers from an uncooperative audience.
This piece didn’t ask a lot. The statement instructed me to use the paper fortune teller toy. Chose a letter: N-O-L or A. Choose a number. Lift a flap to find a word or “impression." I found the word “ETOUFFEE”. What does the impression make you think of or remind you of? The instruction sheet asked. Record your story/recollection in the diary provided. I wrote a page in the diary saying something to the effect that Ignatius (a nearby restaurant) had good etouffee and that they were on the verge of getting their liquor license for four years.
The part that suffered from my resistance was the final instruction to discuss this with others in the gallery. I didn’t want to talk about etouffee. I did not want to talk about Mardi Gras, or Hurricane Katrina either. In New Orleans there are plenty of opportunities to talk about our city. I wanted to talk about art. I tried to talk about this artrwork but it was difficult—maybe because of my own poor performance.