The piece is/was a beauty.
Before Saturday, I described it to friends as (possibly, one hopes it will be...) thoughtful, funny, odd, complicated, and, while beautifully quiet, in your face a little bit, too.
During and after, I realized I pretty much got it right. It was all those things, all at the same time.
And solemn—the beginning and end were so solemn for me. That really got me. I loved the forming of the grid, the breaking of it piece by piece and the coming back to it and standing so very still while maybe one or two others were also there.
It was open-ended--this is what we want (whether we know it or not) from art. The piece demanded that anybody on the street who wanted to participate would have to do so without getting the answers he/she wanted. But they might get something better — an ongoing question that they'd think about later that day or the next day or week or year.
On my particular walk, these things happened that were noteworthy:
At Santa Monica Blvd and La Cienega, three of us walkers crossed the wide crosswalk together. I bet that visual was notable. It felt purposeful.
At a small side street and La Cienega a car with two young women in it almost hit me--completely driver's fault. She and passenger were horrified, rolled down window and apologized, are you all right? they were a little frantic: I said nothing, smiled, handed them each a card and they were so....happy....not to have hit me, not to have me be an asshole about it, and to have such an odd response to the whole thing. They looked at the cards and said "okay okay and smiled a lot." I imagine them telling the story to their friends.
At Beverly and Robertson, a woman came out of the Starbucks and gushed, "Oh, aren't you precious, with your art. What is this?" I handed her two cards as we waited at the stoplight. She responded, "Oh, so let's see 'priest' is the back picture and 'serf' is the front? Is that it? I'm confused!"
At Doheny near Beverly a building security guy asked what was going on with all of us walking around. I handed him a card and kept walking and he shouted after me "Well, this doesn't explain anything."
At Beverly and some side street, a young girl, maybe 8, asked what was going on. I handed her a card. She laughed.
At Kings Rd and some side street an old red Thunderbird swerved toward me and the driver shouted out the window, "I don't know what this is but it's really cool," and then he swerved away.
That's all I've got for you, Richard.
But I'm so happy and grateful that I was a small and moving part of your beautiful work.
Ellen Slezak aka #71 Spout